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Front Line Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk

The Front Line Award is granted annually to one human rights defender who has made an exceptional contribution to defending the rights of others in their country - often at great personal risk to themselves.

In addition to giving publicity to the work of the winner, Front Line hopes that the publicity will act as an additional form of individual protection to the human rights defender in the future and that the programme of high level political meetings will enable the winner to build up a network of useful contacts for future advocacy.

The Award consists of a cash prize of €15,000 - a personal honorarium of €5,000 and a contribution of €10,000 to the work of the recipient's organisation.

The winner of the 2010 Front Line Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk is Dr Soraya Rahim Sobhrang of Afghanistan who is a commissioner of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission with particular responsibility for human rights.

As Commissioner for Women's Rights at the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), Dr Soraya Rahim Sobhrang is responsible for the monitoring, protection and promotion of women's rights throughout Afghanistan.

Dr. Sobhrang, like many prominent women human rights defenders in Afghanistan, has faced constant harassment, defamation and death threats since taking up her post. Women human rights defenders in Afghanistan have been regularly threatened and some have been killed.

The predominant culture of inequality and misogyny is still widespread. Despite the dangers she faces Dr Sobhrang continues her courageous struggle to defend the rights of women in Afghanistan.

“ Despite the clear commitments made in the new Afghan constitution to uphold and protect the rights of women – as the security situation has deteriorated - so has respect for women's rights also deteriorated ”, said Mary Lawlor, Executive Director of Front Line.

Nominations should give details of the human rights defender's work, the risks or negative consequences experienced as a result of this work, why you think he/she should receive the award and how he/she might benefit from it. Nominations must be supported by two referees who can attest to the nominees work, their integrity and their commitment to non-violent means.
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