The King Baudouin Foundation has awarded its 2006-07 International Development Prize to Front Line, the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (Ireland). Front Line’s specific aim is to work for the protection of human rights defenders at immediate risk and to provide practical means to improve their security. Since its creation in 2001, Front Line has worked on behalf of more than 600 human rights defenders in over 100 countries.
It combines round-the-clock practical support with international advocacy, promoting the visibility and recognition of human rights defenders as a vulnerable group. Other shortlisted groups were Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, which tries to ensure observance of legislation as well as providing assistance to human rights defenders; Nebahat Akkoc and the KA-MER Foundation (Turkey), an independent organization that works to put an end to the exclusion of Turkish women in economic, social, political and cultural life and to combat the violence that women are often subject to; and the Ligue Démocratique pour les Droits de la Femme (The Democratic League for Women’s Rights – Morocco).
The King Baudouin International Development Prize, which is worth some €150,000 as well as the international visibility it provides, will be presented to Mary Lawlor, the Director of Front Line, in May.
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