Front Line Defenders

Front Line Defenders
Front line defenders.png
ServicesProtecting human rights

Front Line Defenders or The International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders is an Irish-based human rights organisation founded in Dublin, Ireland in 2001 to protect those who work non-violently to uphold the human rights of others as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


The organisation was founded by Mary Lawlor, former director of the Irish Section of Amnesty International with a US $3 million donation from businessman and philanthropist Denis O'Brien. Front Line Defenders has Special Consultative Status with the Social and Economic Council of the United Nations, and has Observer Status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.

In 2006 Front Line Defenders established a European Union office in Brussels.

Front Line Defenders received the King Baudouin International Development Prize in 2007 and the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights in 2018. On 3 July 2014 Mary Lawlor was presented with the Order of Chevalier of the Legion of Honour by French Ambassador to Ireland, Mr Jean-Pierre Thebault, on behalf of the French government.

Front Line Defenders' overall goal is to enable human rights defenders, as key agents of social change, to continue their work without the risk of harassment, intimidation or arrest.

Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk[edit]

In 2005 this award was established, which according to the organisations website is awarded to a human rights defender "who through non-violent work, is courageously making an outstanding contribution to the promotion and protection of the human rights of others, often at great personal risk to themselves". The award brings international attention on its recipient's cause, and a 15,000 euros cash prize.[1]

The recipients of this award since its inception are as follows:[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nomination opens for the 2016 Front Line Defenders Award,, 20 January 2016
  2. ^ "The Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk". Archived from the original on February 15, 2016. Retrieved 2016-03-12.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) Front Line Defenders.
  3. ^ Thoolen, Hans (12 September 2015). 2015 Front Line Defenders Award to Chinese Guo Feixiong (Yang Maodong) Hans Thoolen on Human Rights Defenders. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  4. ^ (in Spanish) La activista hondureña Ana Mirian Romero recibe premio "Front Line Defenders",, 10 June 2016
  5. ^ Sorcha Pollak, Crimean Tatar lawyer honoured at Dublin ceremony,, 26 May 2017

External links[edit]