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2020 Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk

“These Award recipients are protecting some of the most marginalized communities in their countries and they continue to step forward as representatives of their communities at exactly the moment governments are doubling down on attacks against visible HRDs. The courage and integrity of the human rights defenders we honour this year shine brightly as inspiration of how we can work together to achieve positive change.”
- Andrew Anderson, Executive Director

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Front Line Defenders was not able to hold its award ceremony in Dublin as normal, and instead moved events to celebrate the work of human rights defenders into the virtual space.

In October, Front Line Defenders will hold a series of press conferences for each of the regional winners.

On 9 December, Front Line Defenders will present a virtual Award Ceremony; by bringing the event online, Front Line Defenders will reach a global audience to honor these courageous and determined HRDs.

The 2020 Laureates are:

Mekfoula Mint Brahim, Mauritania

MekfoulaMekfoula Mint Brahim is is the President of Pour une Mauritanie Verte et Démocratique (For a Green and Democratic Mauritania), an organisation leading women’s empowerment projects in rural areas. She is also a member of Alliance pour la Refondation de l'Etat Mauritanien (AREM), which promotes good governance and fights against impunity.

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Guardia Indígena del Cauca, Colombia

The Guardia Indígena del Cauca - Kiwe Thegnas (Defenders of Life and Territory), member of the organization Asociación de Cabildos Indígenas del Norte del Cauca (ACIN), CRIC branch, is a community life and ancestral resistance composed of women, men, boys and girls who defend their territories in a peaceful, unarmed way.

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Juwairiya Mohideen, Muslim Women’s Development Trust (MWDT), Sri Lanka

Juwairiya Mohideen is a Muslim woman human rights defender based in Puttalam in the North West of Sri Lanka. In 2010 she established the Muslim Women’s Development Trust (MWDT), providing daily practical support, comfort, advice and legal assistance to women and girls facing abuse, violence and discrimination.

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Lara Aharonian, Women’s Resource Center, Armenia

Lara Aharonian is co-founder of the Women’s Resource Center Armenia, a non-governmental feminist organization based in Yerevan that works to empower women and girls to become active citizens by combatting gender stereotypes and providing psychological and legal support to survivors of gender-based violence in Armenia.

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Women Human Rights Defenders, Iraq

Iraqi Women Human Rights Defenders have faced a wave of assassinations and attempted killings, particularly especially in the southern city of Basra. Since mass popular protests erupted throughout the country in 2019, human rights defenders have been targeted for attack, including kidnappings, physical attacks and killings.