Courageous activists and organizations from Ukraine, Somalia, Venezuela and Uganda are being honored with the Alternative Nobel Prizes this year.
This time the award goes to the Somali human rights activists Fartuun Adan and Ilwad Elman, the Ukrainian Olexandra Matwijtschuk and the Center for Civil Liberties (CCL) as well as the Venezuelan collective Cecosesola and the Africa Institute for Energy Governance (Afiego).
This was announced by the Right Livelihood Foundation, which awards the prizes each year before the actual Nobel Prizes, on Thursday in Stockholm.
Oleksandra Matwijtschuk was awarded the prize for her commitment to democracy and the rule of law. Matviychuk received the award “for building sustainable democratic institutions in Ukraine and shaping a path to international prosecution of war crimes,” the foundation announced on Thursday.
As chair of the Center for Civil Liberties (CCL), which was founded in 2007, Matviychuk is helping to strengthen Ukrainian civil society and state democratic structures and is committed to promoting national and international law, the foundation said in its statement.
It documents human rights violations and war crimes and thus paves the way for social and legal reappraisal, which has been of particularly great importance since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
The Venezuelan collective Cecosesola (Central de Cooperativas de Lara) received the award “for the development of a fair and efficient community economy as an alternative to the profit-oriented economic model”.
The network of community organizations from low-income regions, which produces affordable goods and services for more than 100,000 families in seven Venezuelan states and provides them at well below retail prices, has grown steadily over the past 55 years and is “an inspiration for all those who seek alternative economic approaches search,” it said.
The Africa Institute for Energy Governance (Afiego) from Uganda received the award for their courageous commitment to climate justice. The organization supports communities in defending themselves against environmentally harmful projects in oil and gas production. Through lobbying, media campaigns, and local and international legal action, Afiego has ensured that community voices are heard by decision-makers, Right Livelihood said.
The Somali human rights activists Fartuun Adan and Ilwad Elman – mother and daughter – support survivors of gender-specific violence with their organization Elman Peace, rehabilitate former child soldiers and enable women and young people to gain vocational training and leadership skills.
The Foundation’s prize, which has been awarded since 1980, is officially called the Right Livelihood Award, but is more commonly known as the Alternative Nobel Prize. Every year, the Right Livelihood Foundation honors courageous personalities and organizations who work for human rights, the environment and peace.
The award is at a critical distance from the actual Nobel Prizes, the winners of which will be announced in Stockholm and Oslo on Monday. The prizes are each endowed with one million Swedish crowns (around 100,000 euros). The money is intended to support the work of the awardees and not for personal use.
In 2021, 206 people and organizations from 89 countries were nominated for the award – more than ever before. Previous recipients of the award include former US secret service agent Edward Snowden and environmental activist Greta Thunberg. (dpa / AFP)
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