Amnesty International UK has launched its first ever Brave Awards and is calling on members of the public to nominate people in their community carrying out amazing world for human rights issues.

Readers can nominate those making a difference in their community for by visiting amnesty.org.uk/braveawards.

The Brave Awards will celebrate local human rights defenders who are at the forefront of fighting for human rights in towns and cities across the UK.

The awards - supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery - are a fantastic opportunity for both budding and accomplished campaigners and activists to be recognised and celebrated for their work. Nominations are open to anyone in the UK campaigning on human rights issues, such as women’s rights, LGBTI rights, the climate crisis, justice, equality and much more.

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Canal Parade Amsterdam 2018 - Amnesty International in the Netherlands. Photo: Pierre Crom for Amnesty International

Kate Allen, director of Amnesty UK, said: “Every day, human rights defenders up and down the country are at the forefront of defending and furthering human rights for us all, making our communities more just and fairer.

“They are people from all walks of life, with a shared passion and determination for justice and equality.

“As we step into a new decade, there is no better time to launch the Amnesty Brave Awards to celebrate and recognise the amazing work of the UK’s human rights defenders.

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Amnesty Ireland collaborated with artist Emalene Blake who created a mural celebrating the work of WHRDs Vitalina Koval and Azza Soliman at Electric Picnic in Stradbally County Laois. Photo: Amnesty International

“Nominate the amazing people in your community now before February 10 to ensure that they get the recognition they deserve.”

Sanjay Singh, senior programmes manager for international development and environment at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “Our players are delighted to support Amnesty UK since 2017 and what better way to start a new decade than to celebrate the people up and down the country who are passionate about issues that mean the most to them.

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Amnesty International has launched an a Brave Awards 2020. Photo: Amnesty International

“We are surrounded everyday by injustices in human rights and the concept of the Brave Awards gives due recognition to those who are at the forefront of making a difference every day.

“We look forward to hearing inspiring stories of those human rights defenders and joining them for a fairer society.”

How to take part

Amnesty has launched the awards as a recognition of the inspiring human rights activists across the UK, 2019 saw people standing up for equality, climate justice, women’s rights and so much more.

Nominations will close on Monday, February 10 with the final winners being announced on World Day of Social Justice (February 20).

Winners and nominees will have the chance to have their campaigns featured on the Amnesty website. Young people under 18 are highly encouraged to be nominated, and winners will be selected as part of a “Youth” category.

All finalists will be selected by a panel of Amnesty judges and community leaders.

Human rights defenders under attack

The Amnesty Brave Awards are part of Amnesty’s global Brave campaign, which highlights the dangers many human rights defenders face around the world. The campaign also calls on governments to afford better protection for human rights defenders.

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On September 20, 2019, Amnesty members support the global climate strike and demonstrate together with the activists of Fridays for Future. Photo: Amnesty International

A human rights defender is anyone who, individually or in association with others, acts to defend, promote and protect human rights through peaceful means – but they have never been in greater danger than they are now from those who want to silence them.

Since 1998, 3,500 human rights defenders have been killed – an average of 180 deaths a year. 12 per cent of those reported killed were women, and 77 per cent of those killed worked on land, indigenous peoples and environmental rights.

For more information, visit: amnesty.org.uk/brave