Credit: Kim B

18 People and Organisations Awarded By Czech Government for Contributions To Human Rights

The six-member jury chose the laureates from almost 100 nominees. Credit: KB/BD.

Prague, Dec 12 (CTK) – Eighteen people and organisations were awarded yesterday in Prague for the protection and promotion of human rights, receiving the newly introduced prize from the government’s Human Rights Commissioner, Klara Simackova Laurencikova.

Awards were given out in six categories. The six-member jury chose the laureates from almost 100 nominees. Among the winners are Zdenek Rysavy of the Romea organisation, Jitka Polakova, director of the proFem organisation, evangelical priest Mikulas Vymetal, Viktor Heumann of the Trans*parent association, and Bohdan Rajcinec, a representative of the Ukrainian minority.

“Each and every one of today’s laureates shows by their example that the Czech Republic is a country where people are aware of the practical importance of human rights in everyday life, and actively contribute to their protection and promotion,” said Simackova Laurencikova. “In connection with the International Human Rights Day and the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we usually look to the past, but human rights are important for our present and future, so that we as a society can be more cohesive, resilient and diverse.” 

She added that she hoped the award would become a tradition.

For their direct support for human rights, the award went to Polakova, Vymetal and Barbora Antonova, director of the Vesna Women’s Education Institute in Brno. In the education and awareness-raising category, the prize was awarded to Rysavy, Karolina Nodesova, founder of the Most Pride festival, Jitka Rudolfova of the Live Your Own Way initiative for people with disabilities, and Monika Vlckova Mickova, who draws the public’s attention to bullying in the sports environment.

The prize for extraordinary challenge went to Rajcinec, a representative of the Ukrainian minority in the government’s Council for ethnic minorities, students of Prague’s Zatlanka grammar school for their fundraising campaign called Send Pizza to Mojzir, and Anna Jelacicova for providing aid to refugees from Ukraine.

In the innovation category, the awardees are Lukas Pulko from the Mongagua organisation for supporting sports for children from excluded localities and Ester Pacltova from the Locals to Locals NGO, for improving the lives of homeless people.

The award for volunteering went to Sara Krivankova from the Many Worlds organization for opening up the topic of human rights in small towns, Lenka Vonka Cerna, founder of the Volunteer Center in Usti nad Labem, and Juanita Kansil, for her project to make art accessible to people from the margins of society.

Viktor Heumann from Trans*parent, midwife Ivana Konigsmarkova and Pavel Sopuch, who represents as a lawyer children of imprisoned parents, were awarded for advocacy.

Online nominations for the Government Commissioner for Human Rights awards were open until 3 November. The jury, chaired by Simackova Laurencikova, included representatives of the Government Office and Foreign Ministry, the head of the Association for Social Responsibility Lucie Madlova, and Barbara Havelkova, a lawyer from the University of Oxford.

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