Human Rights Prize of the French Republic [fr]
The 2011 Human Rights Prize of the French Republic, ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity’, to be presented by the Prime Minister of the French government, is now open to applications. This prize, created in 1988, is awarded for individual or collective action on the ground, irrespective of nationality or borders, undertaken in France or abroad, with respect to one of two themes.
1 – Non-governmental organisations, irrespective of nationality or borders, should present a field mission or project undertaken in France or abroad, concerning one of the two themes for 2011.
Theme 1: the fight against human rights violations on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
More than 80 states throughout the world still prohibit sexual relations between adults of the same sex, with some countries even going as far as applying the death penalty. The criminalisation of homosexuality goes hand in hand with discriminatory laws and attacks on individual freedom and privacy, cruel or degrading treatment, arbitrary detention and extrajudicial executions. In addition to repressive legislation, homophobic behaviour and practices are rife, despite the primary responsibility of the state to respect and enforce human rights without discrimination. The situation for NGOs active in the fight against human rights violations on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity is also worrying, whether it be a matter of freedom of association or peaceful assembly, sometimes even in EU Member States.
Following the ‘Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity’ of December 2008, France made a commitment by creating a fund within the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs intended to finance the information and awareness-raising initiatives of local, national and regional authorities, and also initiatives concerning defence, protection and legal access for LGBT people. France continues to actively promote this theme within the UN agencies and worked on the drafting of the Joint statement on ending acts of violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity, delivered on 22 March 2011, on behalf of 85 signatory states, at the 16th session of the Human Rights Council.
The projects awarded with the Human Rights Prize can be related to actions intended to combat the criminalisation of homosexuality, human rights violations linked to sexual orientation and gender identity, and prejudices – whether they be at legal or social level – and to ensure and promote real respect for human rights for all: civil, political, economic, social and cultural.
Theme 2: combating violence against women
Combating violence against women has for several years been a clear priority of French policy on human rights advocacy, whether it be at national, regional or international level. Therefore, in the same year as combating violence against women was declared a national grande cause, the law of 9 July 2010 concerning violence specifically against women, violence within couples and the impact of the latter on children was passed, promoting preventive measures and the protection of women. Changes in domestic legislation go hand in hand with unwavering support for intergovernmental initiatives, whether they be the European Union guidelines on violence against women and girls and combating all forms of discrimination against them, or the very recent Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
This Convention states that violence against women is a human rights violation and a form of discrimination against women, and it includes in this definition all acts of violence that lead to, or could lead to, damage or suffering of a physical, sexual, psychological or economic nature for women due to the very fact that they are women – including the threat of being subjected to such acts, coercion or the arbitrary deprivation of freedom, be it in public or private life.
Whether they relate to violent acts committed in times of peace or war, the projects awarded the prize could be linked to initiatives to prevent such violence, to protect and support victims, to promote gender equality and to combat discrimination and the impunity of perpetrators.
2 - Five prize winners will share a total award of €75,000 granted by the Prime Minister.
A special mention will be conferred on the five runners-up. Applications must comply with the prize regulations.
The prize regulations are available upon request, and can also be found online at www.cncdh.fr
3. The application form in French must include:
a) an application letter presented and signed by the president or legal representative of the operating NGO;
b) an application stating in detail the aim and description of the work undertaken or project submitted. It must include a precise budget (with an equivalent sum shown, preferably in euros);
c) a presentation of the operating NGO (status, work conducted, etc.); and
d) the address and bank details of the NGO.
Applicants must send their complete application, without fail, before the deadline of 16 September 2011, to the Secrétariat général de la Commission (35, rue Saint-Dominique, Paris 75007, France) or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org AND email@example.com
4 - The jury will announce the winner on 9 November 2011. The 2011 prize will be presented by the Prime Minister in a formal ceremony in Paris around 10 December 2011.