Category Page: Careers & Opportunities

2018 United Nations Human Rights Prize call for nominations

The 2018 United Nations Human Rights Prize will be given out at the United Nations in New York on Human Right Day, 10 December. Nominations are open until 6 April 2018. This year’s award will coincide with the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The prize to recognize individuals or organization for outstanding achievements in the field of human rights is given out every five years.

It was last awarded in 2013. The winners were Mr. Biram Dah Abeid of Mauritania for his fight against slavery; Ms. Hiljmnijeta Apuk of Kosovo* for her campaign for the rights of people of disproportionately short stature; Ms. Liisa Kauppinen of Finland for her fight for the rights of the deaf; Ms. Khadija Ryadi of Morocco for championing a variety of human rights

causes; the Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico for its role in the constitutional protection of the human rights of Mexicans; and Ms. Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan for championing, at considerable risk, girls’ right to education.

The United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights is an honorary award given to individuals and organizations in recognition of outstanding achievement in human rights. The Prize was established by the General Assembly in 1966 and was awarded for the first time on 10 December 1968, the twentieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Prize has since been awarded in 1973, 1978, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008 and 2013.

Former UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson (right) presents the prize to Liisa Kauppinen at the 2013 award ceremony. © UN Photo

Former UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson (right) presents the prize to Liisa Kauppinen at the 2013 award ceremony. © UN Photo

The Prize is an opportunity not only to give public recognition to the achievements of the recipients themselves, but also to send a clear message to human rights defenders the world over that the international community is grateful for, and supports, their tireless efforts to promote all human rights for all.

The Prize is an opportunity not only to give public recognition to the achievements of the recipients themselves, but also to send a clear message to human rights defenders the world over that the international community is grateful for, and supports, their tireless efforts to promote all human rights for all.

How are the winners of the Prize chosen? 

An important feature of the Prize is that nominations can be received from a broad variety of sources: “Member States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations in consultative status and from other appropriate sources.”
Once nominations have been received by the UN Human Rights Office, a consolidated list is presented to a committee that selects the winners. The five members of this committee are: the President of the General Assembly; the President of the Economic and Social Council; the President of the Human Rights Council; the Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women; and the Chair of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee.

Nominations for the 2018 Prize

The UN Human Rights Office has already sent written requests for nominations to Member States, UN programmes and agencies, non-governmental organizations and the national human rights institutions.

Nominations may be made by submitting the online nomination form with basic identifying information about the nominee and the reasons for making the nomination.

Hard copies can, alternatively, be sent by post to: Human Rights Prize, OHCHR New York Office, Room S-1306, United Nations, New York, NY 10017. A printable form for submitting a nomination by post is available for download here.

The deadline for submission of nominations is 6 April 2018, 23:59 hours Eastern Standard Time.

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: Protective Fellowship Scheme for HRDs at Risk

The Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York is opening a new Call for Nominations for the Protective Fellowship Scheme for Human Rights Defenders at Risk. The Centre is planning to host up to eight defenders who are expected to stay in York for 3-6 months. New Fellows are expected to start in York in mid-September 2018 or in special circumstances in early January 2019.

Nominations for female human rights defenders are particularly welcome. For specific information on eligibility criteria and an overview of the Scheme, please see attached documentation.

Nominations are accepted from recognised civil society organisations and/or organisations working specifically with human rights defenders.

All the documentation should be sent together in one email from the nominating organisation’s email account. Deadline for nominations is 23:59 GMT Sunday 15 April 2018.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Visit University of York’s website for more details here:

Ngao Yetu: Digital Security with Usable Tools

We are incredibly excited to invite you to apply to Ngao Yetu: Digital Security with Usable Tools, a unique masterclass for current and upcoming digital security trainers working with human rights defenders in East Africa. Ngao Yetu combines two back-to-back workshops: a User Experience (UX) training facilitated by a UX expert followed by an advanced digital security training of trainers facilitated by DefendersTech. Read on below for more information on both parts of the program.

Ngao Yetu is open to tech-savvy human rights defenders, digital security trainers, and technologists working with human rights defenders in Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti, Sudan, South Sudan, and Ethiopia.

The program takes place in Nairobi and runs from September 27th to October 5th 2017 so make sure you can block off all of those 9 days and are able travel to Kenya for this intense knowledge-packed session. Be prepared to complete some pre-workshop assignments as well over the coming weeks. Ready to apply? APPLY NOW! Application closes September 10th.

DefendersTech is a project of DefendDefenders (the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project). It aims to empower human rights defenders to unlock the potentials of technology while staying secure, effective, and innovation. The UX Workshop is a collaboration with Internews as part of their USABLE project.

What is in Ngao Yetu: Digital Security with Usable Tools?

Digital Safety Training of Trainers

There is an increased barrage of digital risks, threats and attacks against human rights defenders and independent media practitioners. Risk assessment and defense against threats in this area is not always intuitive even for otherwise technologically proficient human rights defenders. Therefore, there is need to create a pool of digital safety trainers and practitioner within the East and Horn of Africa region to raise awareness, impart skills and respond to threats when they emerge.

The digital safety training of trainers will explore digital risk assessment, protection of data, devices security, account lock-down, and communications privacy. In addition, there will be a session on training skills, elaborating how to share digital safety information effectively with communities who need your skills.

UX Workshop

Attendees will participate in a 4-day User Experience Workshop tailored to digital security trainers under Internews’ human-centered security project, USABLE ( The goal of the workshop is to empower and enhance digital security trainers’ understanding of the specific usability roadblocks tool developers face in the design and deployment of their products, while also equipping trainers to better collect and gather important feedback from high-risk communities they work with. The project aims to improve the usability of critical open source security and privacy tools used by high-risk groups around the world, in order to scale adoption of good information security practices.

The 4-day workshop will be co-facilitated with a regional digital security trainer and User Experience expert, who will walk us through the biggest challenges open source developers face in creating usable and useful products for vulnerable communities, and will facilitate discussion on how we can improve feedback on changing threats and constraints when it comes to learning new technologies for different groups.

After the workshop, we will be opening up a regional pool of funding for trainers to apply the new skills they’ve learned and jump-start this critical feedback mechanism. Feedback will be collected in a number of areas like user-interface or work flow hurdles which are causing low adoption to changing threats or operating environments.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for tech-capable human rights defenders and journalists who have attended a digital security training before, have conducted digital security trainings themselves, or who work within the ICT/IT department within their organizations. Applicants must have strong computer and/or digital security skills.

Participant must be willing to carry out digital safety training and UX Workshops after attending the training-workshop

 How do I apply?

Ngao Yetu will take place in Nairobi from September 27th to October 5th. Make sure you can be available for those days including a travel days. Program activities will be held in English.

Ready? Apply online HERE before September 10th 2017. In case of any questions please write to us at

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