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Past Human Rights Award Recipients

The Advocates Annual Human Rights Awards Dinner honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the promotion of human rights.  It celebrates the work of volunteers whose efforts have made an impact on the support of human rights locally and internationally.


2009     Dr. Sima Samar, Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Sudan


2008      Barbara A. Frey, co-founder of The Advocates for Human Rights and its first Executive Director, now Director of the Human Rights Program at the University of Minnesota

               Samuel D. Hines, co-founder of The Advocates for Human Rights and its first Chairperson


2007     Priscilla Hayner, co-founder of the International Center for Transitional Justice, where she serves as Director of the Peace and Justice Program

            Sofia Macher, served as the first female head of the Peruvian branch of Amnesty International and a Commissioner for Peru's Truth and Reconciliation Commission


2006     Kao Ly Ilean Her, Esq., Executive Director of the Minnesota State Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans

            Lupe R. Serrano, Director of Casa de Esperanza

            Hauwa Ibrahim, for defending women's rights in Nigeria by successfully challenging Nigerian courts' interpretation of Islamic Sharia law in several cases


2005     The American Refugee Committee, for delivering life-saving medical supplies to victims of the tsunami in Southern Thailand 

            The Center for Victims of Torture, for helping torture survivors from more than 60 countries heal and rebuild their lives


2004     Honorable Walter F. Mondale, for his decades of service and leadership on human rights issues


2003          Professor David Weissbrodt, Director of the University of Minnesota's Human Rights Center
Paul and Sheila Wellstone, In Memoriam, for their tireless promotion of human rights and their leadership in the Senate on these issues
Honorable Mary Robinson, past President of Ireland and past United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights


2002     William F. Schultz, Executive Director of Amnesty International U.S.A.
Susanna Vardanyan, Executive Director of the Women's Rights Center in Yerevan, Armenia.


2001     Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, Past President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
John Anthony Kaiser, MHM (1932-2000) for his Human Rights Activism in Kenya.


2000     U.S. Representative Bruce Vento, for his commitment to human rights throughout his career
Intercultural Mutual Assistance Association of Rochester, Minnesota, for their services to Southeastern Minnesota's immigrant and refugee community.


1999     Baltasar Garzón Real, the Spanish Magistrate whose leadership initiated the case against ex-Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet
Wilma Mankiller, Chief of the Cherokee Nation, whose life and work are dedicated to Native American and women's issues. 


1998     Arvonne Fraser and Loretta Frederick in recognition of their outstanding achievements in the area of women's human rights
The Women's Center and Refleksione for their work to prevent violence against women in Albania. 


1997     Sulo Shrestha-Shah, President of RUGMARK-Nepal and owner of a rug factory that provides innovative programs to support children
Broad Meadows Middle School of Quincy, Massachusetts that demonstrated the power of youth activism by raising over $100,000 to build a school in honor of Iqbal Masih.


1996     Justice Richard Goldstone, Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.  His integrity and vision made the tribunal an effective instrument of justice.


1995     M. Nazie Eftekhari, Jose Lamas, W. George Meredith, Viet Ngo and Rocky Ralebipi, highlighting outstanding contributions of immigrants.

1994     James P. Grant, Executive Director of UNICEF
National Street Children's Movement, Brazil, for their work protecting our world's children.


1993     Jadranka Cigelj and Dr. Shana Swiss, for their work preventing rape in wartime.


1992     Radio Enriquilo, Fernando Solanas, and Laura Waterman Wittstock, for their work promoting and protecting freedom of expression.


1991     Yuri Afanas'ev, on behalf of the democracy movement in the Soviet Union.


1990     Dith Pran, Pan Marann, Sova Niev, and Sos Duong, in memory of the victims of genocide in Cambodia.


1989     Maria Socorro Diokno, Free Legal Assistance Group of the Philippines.


1988     Dr. Inge Genefke, International Rehabilitation Center for Torture Victims, Copenhagen.


1987     Organizations of families of the detained and disappeared in Argentina, Guatemala and South Africa.


1986     U.S. Representative Bill Frenzel, for his work on behalf of Soviet Jews.


1985     Mayor Don Fraser, for his international human rights work.