The Gwangju Prize for Human Rights was established to celebrate the spirit of May 18 Gwangju Uprising by recognizing both individuals, groups or institutions in Korea and abroad that have contributed in promoting and advancing human rights, democracy and peace in their work. The prize is awarded by the citizens of Gwangju in the spirit of solidarity and gratitude from those whom they have received help in their struggle for democratization. It is hoped that through this award the spirit and message of May 18 will be immortalized in the hearts and mind of humankind.

The Gwangju Prize for Human Rights which is given yearly has the following aims:
1) To enhance the spirit of the May 18 Democratic Uprising by awarding individuals, groups or institutions in Korea and abroad on their contribution to improving human rights and peace throughout the world.

2) To reward individuals, groups and institutions in Korea and/or abroad for promoting the goals of the May 18 Democratic Uprising as a movement toward unification and cooperation.
A prize money amounting to US$ 50,000, a gold medal and a certificate will be awarded to the winner.

Previous Winners
2000 (3rd Nov) : Xanana Gusmao (The president of East Timor)

2001 (18th May): Basil Fernando (Executive director of AHRC; Hong Kong)

2002 (18th May): Korean Association of Bereaved Families for Democracy; South Korea

2003 (18th May): Dandeniya Gamage Jayanthi (Monument for the Disappeared; Sri Lanka)

2004 (18th May): Aung San Suu Kyi (National League for Democracy; Burma)

2005 (18th May): Wardah Hafidz (Coordinator, Urban Poor Consortium; Indonesia)

2006 (18th May): Malalai Joya and Angkhana Neelaphaijit

2007 ( 18th May): Lenin Raghuvanshi and Irom Sharmila
The candidates eligible for the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights are nominations made by individuals or organizations who were invited to nominate names for consideration. An individual can not nominate himself or herself. These core criteria should be considered:
1) Outstanding person or group that is active in the promotion and advocacy of Peace, Democracy and Human Rights.
2) A person or group that works for the reunification of Korea.
Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Committee is responsible for the selection of the candidates and the choice of prize winner. The Committee is composed of individuals appointed by the Board of the May 18 Memorial Foundation.
Information about the nominations, whether publicly or privately is confidential. Disclosure is highly restricted.

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