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Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Award

Every year since 2000, the May 18 Memorial Foundation (Gwangju, Republic of Korea) has announced its annual “Call for nominations for the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights”.


This Prize has been promoting the spirit of the Gwangju Democratic Uprising in which the people of Gwangju put up a resistance against the brutal military forces for the sake of Democracy and Human Rights in 1980. It affected Korea to bring Democracy in history.

The May 18 Memorial Foundation was founded in 1994 with the aim of spreading and commemorating the democratic spirit shown by the people of Gwangju. In the course of restoring the meaning of the May 18 Democratic Uprising through fact finding, and bringing the perpetrators to justice, even though Gwangju was isolated by the military junta many overseas countries supported the City and wanted to see the restoration of justice and human rights. Therefore, through this prize the May 18 Memorial Foundation would like to share and empathize with people in similar situations to that which the people of Gwangju faced in 1980.

The prize goes to one 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.

Nominations will be collected from December 1 March. Preliminary and final reviews of nominees will take place from March to April. The winner of the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights will be announced in the last week of April.

The Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Special Award
the May 18 Memorial Foundation also would like to establish the special prize for the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights. Since the time that the Foundation began awarding the Prize, we have received many requests to establish a special prize for those who work for the improvement of human rights by the means of journalism, culture, literature, and many other fields. The special prize will be provided every 2 years. The prize winner will also receive some prize money (5,000,000 Korean won, approximately 4,500 USD) and a certificate at the same Awards ceremony. Nominators can use the same nomination form as that of the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights.

Eligibility for the Prize
1) A person or group eligible for the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights nominated by another individual or organization. An individual cannot nominate him/herself and cannot be nominate by their own organization.
2) A person or group who has been struggling for justice and democracy for their community and country.
3) A person or group who contributed towards democracy and human rights movements through their work in their organization.
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