The human rights community is not one where prizes are often sought or given, but the Oslo Freedom Forum has recently announced the winners of its annual Havel Prize for Creative Dissent that is usually given to the winners during this Norway based event.
Given by the Human Rights Foundation that organizes the annual Oslo Freedom Forum the group has this year named Zimbabwean playwright Silvanos Mudzvova, Bahrani poet Aayat Alqormozi, and the Venezuelan satire based art project El Chiguire Bipolar as the three winners of a prize that has become a rival to the Nobel Peace Prize given in the same hotel ballroom in Oslo, Norway each year.
This is just one aspect of the work of the Oslo Freedom Forum and the Human Rights Foundation that has been at the heart of the growth of human rights activism seen in the younger generation in the world over the last few years. The Oslo Freedom Forum brings together a range of individuals under the directorship of founder Thor Halvorssen and the Human Rights Foundation President Gary Kasparov; the award itself is named for the former President of the Global Council of the Human Rights Foundation Vaclav Havel who passed away in 2011 and is remembered as a political activist and playwright.
Human rights groups are playing a key role ikn the lives of people around the world who are seeing their rights abused by government agencies and agents at a fast rate in many different and diverse cultures. In the U.S. the Larkin and Lacey Frontera Fund is making inroads into the problems being seen by many minority groups along the U.S. Mexican border; the issues facing those who are in the U.S., both legally and illegally, have been taken up by the Frontera Fund as it seeks to protect the voting rights and right to free speech of people from all socioeconomic backgrounds in Arizona.
The Frontera Fund was created using the settlement awarded to the founders of the Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, who became household names when they themselves were stripped of their human rights by Sheriff Joe Arpaio; after being taken from their homes in the middle of the night and imprisoned the two journalists discovered they had been illegally detained for revealing the existence of a Grand Jury looking into the work of Sheriff Arpaio. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikepida
Human rights groups have been honored at the Oslo Freedom Forum since it was created in 2009 and the majority of human rights activists have now realized the significance of the event for raising awareness of many different human rights issues across the world.
Much like the Human Rights Foundation the Oslo Freedom Forum has maintained its independence on many different levels in a bid to make sure every aspect of its work is completed free from corporate, political, or donor influence on the direction being taken by the Human Rights Foundation.
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