The impact of the 2014 Right Livelihood Awards

News 28.11.2014

Before the ceremony, this year’s Laureates commented on the Award and how they plan to use their prize money.

Basil Fernando said the prize money is going to be donated to the Asian Human Rights Commission, “which will use it for its work on protection of human rights.” The AHRC works on providing legal assistance to victims of human rights violations and is engaged in advocacy and investigative research activities for prosecution and judicial reforms in 12 countries across the Asian continent.

Asma Jahangir announced the award money is going to be used to set up a web radio, to institute human rights awards in educational institutions in Pakistan and to support human rights defenders under threat. “It is an award that we share. For me, it is an honour but also an added responsibility to support victims of human rights and strengthen support for human rights in Pakistan,” said Jahangir.

Bill McKibben said he would fund the work of and its partner organizations. He stressed that “this recognition comes at a perfect moment after the remarkable success of the People’s Climate March and as we start the strongest push yet against the fossil fuel industry and the politicians it has purchased.”

Edward Snowden, recipient of an Honorary Award, recognised the importance of the Right Livelihood Award as “a vindication for everyone who came before to raise awareness to issues” of privacy and mass surveillance. He claimed that we all “have something to protect – our rights” and thanked all activists around the world for their tireless support via this video.

Alan Rusbridger remarked his Honorary Award stands as a recognition for The Guardian‘s “open journalism.” He added that “the combination of Edward Snowden and The Guardian show the value of journalism and how journalist institutions can tell stories and defend them.”

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