Martin Ennals Award to nominate human rights defenders
Martin Ennals Award


Nominations are now open for the Martin Ennals Award to nominate human rights defenders.

The Martin Ennals Foundation provides support and protection to human rights defenders (HRDs) at risk, who have shown exceptional commitment to the promotion of human rights. Their ambition is to strengthen the legitimacy and recognition of all HRDs who work in hostile and dangerous environments. The Martin Ennals Foundation is guided by the universal principles of human rights. They are part of the global human rights movement ensuring fundamental rights for everyone, everywhere. Integrity, equity and respect for the dignity of all persons, are the cornerstones of their values.

The Martin Ennals Award is a unique collaboration between ten of the world’s leading human rights organizations, who form the independent Jury that selects winners of the Award.

The Martin Ennals Award (MEA) is an international Award given to human rights defenders in urgent need of protection. Many defenders who are nominated for the Award face serious risks – for example, they are in jail or at risk of detention; they have been prevented from carrying out their work by authorities or businesses, or they have disappeared.


All of the winners receive an important financial prize intended to support his or her work in the field of human rights.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Self-nominations for the MEA are not accepted. Human rights defenders or organizations can be nominated by a third party, as long as the motivation is substantiated and the candidate meets the MEA criteria, namely being a human rights defender at risk. Past Laureates include lawyers, journalists, civil society activists and even a Buddhist monk.
  • To qualify for the Award, the nominees must:
    • Be currently active in the promotion and protection of human rights
    • Not employ or advocate violence
    • Not be self-nominated
    • Be in need of protection
  • Post-humous nominations are not eligible.

For more information, visit Martin Ennals Award.