Human Rights Prize of the French Republic: Call For Aplication

Posted by Shofi Fida Thursday, July 14, 2011 0 comments


Dear Sir/Madam,

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
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
The prize regulations are available upon request, and can also be found online at
3. The application form in French must include:
a) an application letter presented and signed by the president or legal representative of the operating
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: AND
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.
I would be grateful if you would widely circulate this call for applications.

Yours faithfully,



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