Gwangju Prize for Human Rights

To promote the spirit of the May 18 Democratization Movement, in which the people of Gwangju resisted against brutal military forces for the sake of democracy and human rights in 1980, the May 18 Memorial Foundation recognizes the exemplary efforts of individuals and organizations aspiring to the restoration of justice and human rights in their respective countries through the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Prize.

Since 2000, the Foundation has been bestowing the ‘Gwangju Prize for Human Rights’ to individuals, groups, and institutions in Korea and abroad that have contributed in promoting and advancing human rights, democracy, and peace in their work.

Likewise, Special Prize for Gwangju Prize for Human Rights is for an individual or an organization that has contributed to the promotion of democracy and human rights through cultural activities, journalism, and academic fields.

These prizes are awarded by the citizens of Gwangju in the spirit of solidarity and gratitude to those who have helped them in their struggle for democratization and their search for truth. It is hoped that through this award, the spirit and message of May 18 will be immortalized in the hearts and minds of humankind.

In 2018, the ‘Gwangju Prize for Human Rights’ was bestowed on Fr. Nandana Manatunga for his remarkable contribution in supporting the victims of the state violence during Sri Lanka’s Dark Age between 2005 and 2015. Fr. Nandana has especially stood on the side of the victims, who have suffered under the dictatorship of the Executive of the country, to fight for them. The victims who had been illegally incarcerated for 7 or 8 years without trials were freed with the help of Fr. Nandana.

For the call for the 2019 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights nominations, please click here

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About May 18 Memorial Foundation

The May 18 Memorial Foundation (also written as 5·18 Memorial Foundation) is a non-profit organization established in 1994 to commemorate the 1980 Gwangju Uprising by continuing the Uprising’s spirit of struggle and extending solidarity with the struggles of democracy and human rights throughout the world. The Foundation carries out numerous projects in various fields, including organizing memorial events, establishing scholarships, fostering researches, publishing materials, dispensing funds, building international solidarity, and awarding the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights.

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