Human Rights and the Rule of Law: The Franco-German Prize
Symbol of Germany and France’s shared values, illustrating their commitment to protecting and promoting human rights, the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law was created in 2016 by the foreign ministers of our two countries.
Human rights, the cornerstone of France and Germany’s foreign policies
Germany and France base their foreign policy on promoting and protecting human rights. In creating this award, our two countries have reiterated their common commitment to promoting and protecting these rights that determine whether there is peace, stability and justice in the world.
Take action everywhere where it is needed
Fighting for human rights is crucial as many governments are limiting fundamental freedoms. At a time when the universality of human rights is increasingly challenged by those who refer to them as values that the West wishes to impose on the rest of the world, France and German recall with this award that human rights are not special values but principles enshrined in international texts and that every State must comply with its commitments that it has freely undertaken.
Honour human rights defenders
The action of human rights defenders is vital to raising awareness of public opinion, rallying civil society, supporting the victims of human rights abuses and ensuring that governments effectively deliver on their commitments. The Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law was created to pay tribute to those men and women who pour their hearts and souls into defending human rights and whose action should be commended and supported.
The 2017 winners
Every year, the winners are chosen at the end of a joint selection process conducted by the French and German foreign ministries from a list of candidates put forward by the French and German embassies all over the world.
- Adilur Rahman Khan (Bangladesh),
- Nounongnon Balbylas Gbaguidi (Benin),
- Gracia Violeta Ross Quiroga (Bolivia),
- Ragia Omran (Egypt),
- César Ricaurte (Ecuador),
- Abdullah Al Khonaini (Kuwait),
- Bekim Asani (Macedonia),
- Mandira Sharma (Nepal),
- Grace Idaehor Osakue (Nigeria),
- Rosemarie R. Trajano (Philippines),
- Elena Milashina (Russia),
- Shreen Abdul Saroor (Sri Lanka),
- Kerem Altiparmak (Turkey),
- Pavlo Lysianskyi (Ukraine),
- Liliana Ortega Mendoza (Venezuela).
Grace OSAKUE - NIGERIA
Grace Osakue is co-founder and chair of Girls’ Power Initiative (GPI) Nigeria, which equips women and youth through skills building and comprehensive sexuality education. GPI supports victims of human trafficking and helps sensitise communities in order to prevent it. She has coordinated the GPI work on human trafficking over the last eighteen years, spanning from research, awareness raising for prevention to rehabilitation of trafficked persons. She is furthermore the principal of a Grammar School in Benin City, coordinator of the West Africa Network for the Protection of Children in Nigeria-South, board member of the Network of Civil Society Organisations against Trafficking, Child Labour and Abuse, and chairperson of the Board of Trustees of BraveHeart Initiative for Youth and Women. Grace Osakue has extensive experience in research, advocacy and consultancies on women, girls’ rights, empowerment and sexuality issues and has published widely on these issues.