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Home » Nominations for Human Rights Tulip 2020 now open

Nominations for Human Rights Tulip 2020 now open

Nominations for the annual Dutch Human Rights Tulip award 2020 are now officially open. The Human Rights Tulip is an award presented by the Dutch government for courageous human rights defenders or organisations, who promote and support human rights in peaceful and innovative ways. The nomination period will close on 29 March 2020. Nominations submitted after that date will not be considered.

Since its establishment in 2008, the Human Rights Tulip has been awarded to individuals from a variety of countries. From 2013, the focus has been on the innovative character of their efforts. The prize is intended to support human rights defenders and to help human rights defenders learn from each other.

The award comes with €100,000 in prize money, which the winner can use to further develop or expand the scale of their work for human rights. In this way the prize benefits more people in more places. The prize money comes out of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Human Rights Fund. The winner also receives a bronze sculpture in the shape of a tulip, designed by the Dutch artists Huub and Adelheid Kortekaas.

Click here for more information about past winners of the Human Rights Tulip. For more information about the Human Rights Tulip, click here.

Nomination Procedure

An open call for nominations is published on this website. It is also spread via Dutch embassies and NGOs. Human rights defenders and organisations from all over the world can be nominated. Anyone can submit a nomination (but please note that self-nomination is not allowed). To nominate someone, complete the nomination form and send it to dmm-tulip@minbuza.nl or to humanrightstulip@tutanota.com. Nominations can be submitted in EnglishFrenchSpanish and Arabic.

The deadline for nominating is 29 March, 2020. Nominations submitted after that date will not be considered.


To decide who should win, all the submitted nominations are reviewed using agreed selection criteria. A certain weight is given to each criterion. Account is taken of the candidate’s creativity and innovation, the results they’ve achieved and the extent to which they reach or mobilise others on the issue of human rights. The risks they run because of their work are also taken into consideration. To make the selection process as transparent as possible, the selection criteria are published online.

A panel of experts then pre-selects the top ten candidates with the highest scores as well as three ‘wild cards’, so that strong candidates who don’t score well on every single point still have a chance of winning. This list of 13 candidates is then submitted to an independent jury, which will discuss the profiles of these candidates and selects three candidates most eligible for the Human Rights Tulip award. The names of these three candidates are given to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who picks the winner of Human Rights Tulip 2020.

Selection criteria of individuals or organisations are as follows:

  1. Working to peacefully promote and/or protect human rights, especially in one of the following fields:
    • freedom of expression (including online);
    • freedom of religion or belief;
    • equal rights for LGBTI persons;
    • equal rights for women and girls;
    • fight against impunity and accountability for international crimes.
  2. Level of repression and risks faced as a result of their human rights work.
  3. Level of innovation and creativity in the approach to promote and protect human rights.
  4. Ability to achieve impact and to reach and improve the life of (marginalised) beneficiaries through the human rights work.
  5. Working with and involving relevant partner organizations and/or communities.
  6. Sustainability of the project and the possibility to scale up the approach or project.

Award ceremony of the winner of the Human Rights Tulip Award 2017, Graciela Pérez Rodríguez. Graciela works on the topic of enforced disappearances in Mexico.