Author Archives: May 18 Memorial Foundation

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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Global NGO Masters Program

Global NGO Master’s Program (GNMP) is a master’s degree offered by the May 18 Institute at the Chonnam National University in Gwangju, with a full scholarship granted by the May 18 Memorial Foundation. It is a four-semester two-year program. The GNMP is intended for the people who have been contributing or have the potential to contribute to leading social progress in Asia-Africa.

The program started in 2016 as a theoretical and practical educational platform for international sharing and expanding of the spirit and experiences of MAY 18 Gwangju Civilian Movement on site. The GNMP works closely with the May 18 Memorial Foundation in Gwangju, the official body commemorating the democratic struggle in Gwangju on May 18, 1980, and the students have an excellent chance to know and trace the spirit and history of democracy movement of Korea. We aim at strengthening democratic civil society through NGO workers’ global networking and solidarity across borders. For this purpose, the program provides the foreign students with a good scholarship opportunity and a living stipend.

The first batch of GNMP scholars, consisting of three students from Burkina Faso, Thailand, and Nepal, completed their course last 2018. Currently, the program has seven students from Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Vietnam.

To learn more about this program, please click here.

mayzine vol 11

Mayzine

The Mayzine is a webzine of May 18 Memorial Foundation covering the updates of its international activities along with the updates of human rights, democracy, and peace.
The Foundation’s local and national activities, as well as comprehensive articles on the human rights situation in Asia and overseas, are frequently featured in the Mayzine.

This month, the International Affairs Department released Volume 11 of Mayzine. This issue includes a feature about Judge Motahar Hossain, who fled Bangladesh after he faced threats and intimidation under Sheikh Hasina’s regime in Bangladesh. Likewise, four alumni of the Global NGO Masters Program and May 18 Academy shared their perspectives regarding the human rights situation in their countries.

Likewise, this Mayzine included highlights of the May 18 Memorial Foundation International Conference, a working visit to the United States by several staff members of the Foundation, and the recently-concluded Asian Human Rights Charter (AHRC) Workshop held in Jakarta, Indonesia.

So far, we published 11 volumes of Mayzine (volume 3 is currently unavailable). Here are the links to the issues:

Volume 11: http://518.org/Mayzine/201811/main.php

Volume 10: http://518.org/Mayzine/201810/main.php

Volume 9: http://518.org/Mayzine/201807/main.php

Volume 8: http://www.518.org/Mayzine/201801/main.php

Volume 7: http://www.518.org/Mayzine/201710/main.php

Volume 6: http://www.518.org/Mayzine/201707/main.php

Volume 5: http://www.518.org/Mayzine/201703/main.php

Volume 4: http://www.518.org/Mayzine/201702/main.php

Volume 2: http://www.518.org/Mayzine/201510/main.php

Volume 1: http://www.518.org/Mayzine/201508/main.php

FAQ: 2019 GPHR Nomination

This is a set of frequently asked questions related to the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights. The answers have been prepared based on the responses to the queries by nominators and those interested in this award. 

1. Who is the referee?

The referee is someone who can endorse the Prize nomination submitted by a nominator. A nominator must designate one referee who knows well about the nominee and understands his/her/its main achievements.

When the May 18 Memorial Foundation needs further information or have any inquiry about the nominee it can contact both the nominator and the nominee.

2. The nominee is not from Asia. Is he/she/it still eligible for the Prize?

The Prize goes to an individual or an organization that has struggled for or contributed to the improvement and advancement of human rights, democracy and peace in their community and country, regardless of his/her/its nationality.   

3. Can I nominate the chairperson of the organization I work at present? Can I nominate the organization I am working for? 

An individual cannot be nominated by his/her own organization. Likewise, an individual working for the organization cannot nominate his/her organization.

4. What is the difference between the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights and the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Special Award?

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. 

Both the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights (GPHR) and the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Special Award (GPHR Special Award) go to the individual (s) or organization (s) that has/have struggled for or contributed to the improvement and advancement of human rights, democracy, and peace in their community and country. In particular, the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Special Award is aimed at awarding those that have contributed to the promotion of democracy and human rights through research, journalism, culture or any form of art.  

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. 

5. Is it possible to nominate one nominee for both the GPHR and the GPHR Special Award?

A nominator can nominate only one nominee for the GPHR or GPHR Special Award.  nee. 

6. I have integral information on the nominee. However, I do not fully understand what kind of reference I should submit for nomination. Is it the reference of the nominator’s organization or the reference of the nominee?

If the nominee is an individual the reference must focus on his/her major achievements and important activities rather than his/her organizational activities. If an individual’s work is deeply interlinked with his/her organization, nomination must describe his/her contribution to the organizational work in detail.

7. I have integral information regarding the nominee. However, some supporting documents are not written in English. Can I submit those items?

The nomination form and supporting documents must be submitted in either Korean or  English. 

8. When is the public announcement of the Prize winner?

The Prize committee chooses a winner approximately 120 days from the application deadline. The public announcement and press conference for this year’s award will be held in the mid-April.

9. Should all documents be sent by both e-mail and post?

All documents should be sent either by email or post. If you send hard copies to the Foundation by post, please be sure you have included all requirements in one envelope.

Foundation calls for nomination for 2019 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights

The May 18 Memorial Foundation is pleased to announce the call for 2019 nominations for the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights (GPHR) and the Special Prize of the GPHR (SPGPHR).

What are GPHR and SPGPHR?

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.

SPGPHR 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.

Who can nominate awardees?

A nomination for the GPHR and the SPGPHR can be submitted by any individual or organization who meets the nomination criteria.  Any nomination is considered valid if it is submitted by a person or an organization that falls within one of the following categories:

  1. Individuals or organizations who won the May 18 Citizens Award and/or Yun Sang-won Award
  2. Previous Gwangju Prize for Human Rights laureates
  3. Organizations in Korea or overseas working for human rights, peace, and reunification of Koreas that have been active three years or more and that the May 18 Memorial Foundation Directorate decides to request their nomination
  4. Any individual or organization in Korea or overseas that agrees on the purpose of the GPHR

Who are eligible to be awarded?

The candidates eligible for the GPHR or SPGPHR are those persons or organizations nominated by a qualified individual or a qualified organization. A nomination of yourself will not be taken into consideration.

How are they selected?

The May 18 Memorial Foundation is responsible for the selection of eligible candidates and the choice of the GPHR and the SPGPHR laureates. The selection committee is composed of seven members who are designated by the May 18 Memorial Foundation’s Articles of Association. The rest of the procedure will abide by the Articles of Association.

When is the deadline for submission?

The period of submission is on September 17 ~ December 31, 2018 (by 24:00 Korea time)

What are the requirements?

i)   Nomination Form (Download the attachment)

ii)  Two ID Pictures (paste them on the designated spots)

iii)  Other materials that can substantiate your activities and eligibility for the award

To whom do we submit the documents?

 An e-mail confirming the receipt and validity of the submitted nomination will be sent out to the nominator once the submission is complete.  gwangjuprize@gmail.com

For more information, please visit our website (eng.518.org)

May 18 Academy

The May 18 Academy is a two-week-long education/training program designed for international civil society activists working for human rights, democracy, and peace. The May 18 Academy provides special lectures based on the May spirit and a valuable opportunity to share experiences among activists in solidarity. The Academy has started since 2004.

We welcome international civil society activists from around the world to promote a better understanding of Korean modern history and of commemoration events for democracy, human rights, and peace movements.

To learn more about the academy, please read the report of the May 18 Academy 2018

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 https://518org.wordpress.com/2018/10/02/foundation-announces-call-for-gwangju-prize-awardees/

Gwangju Asia Forum

The Gwangju Asia Forum is another important event organized by the May 18 Memorial Foundation to provide a unique platform for exchanging and networking with democracy and human rights activists in Asia. The ‘Gwangju Asia Forum’ takes place in May every year to bring together activists from Asia to discuss pertinent issues of human rights and democracy. The program has started since 2010.

The Gwangju Asia Forum aims to strengthen international solidarity between domestic and foreign activists working for democracy, human rights and peace. During the program, the participants have the opportunity to participate in the official ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the May 18 Democratic Movement and pray for the victims souls to rest in peace. The participants will also attend the award ceremony of the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights.