Annual Report 2018

The Rafto Foundation has now released the 2018 Annual Report highlighting efforts and achievements in our work to give attention and support to human rights defenders across the world.

Read the report:

The Rafto Prize 2018 - A constitutional state under pressure in Poland

The Rafto Prize awarded to the Polish lawyer and ombudsman Adam Bodnar revealed that fundamental constitutional state principles and minority rights are being challenged in today’s Poland. Bodnar received the prize for his work in illuminating the decisive role that independent ombudsman institutions play for human rights in Poland, and he has particularly distinguished himself by focusing on the rights of women and minorities.

Executive Director Jostein Hole Kobbeltvedt sums up 2018 in this short video:

70th Anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights

The anniversary became a recurrent theme throughout many of our activities. In debate contributions and seminars in Norway and abroad, we have focused on the situation of human rights defenders. Locally, a unanimous city council sent an important signal when, at the request of the Rafto Foundation, they passed a resolution that Bergen was to become Norway’s first human rights city.

First UN report on the human rights situation in Kashmir

With support from the Rafto Foundation, the 2017 prize recipients from Kashmir succeeded in presenting information in Geneva that contributed to the first report on the human rights situation in Kashmir by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The report pointed out many of the circumstances that Parveena Ahangar and Parvez Imroz have worked to uncover and put a spotlight on in the world.

Modern slavery act initiative

Rafto Foundation and the Norwegian Bar Association’s Human Rights Committee established an initiative to report on a Norwegian law against modern slavery. During Arendal Week, we published a report on topics that became the subject of a number of seminars and events throughout the autumn. This resulted in a proposal by a Storting representative, and in the Granavolden Declaration in January 2019 the new majority Government committed to “report on an anti-slavery law based on the model used in the United Kingdom”.

More people are receiving human rights education

With 6,830 students, student teachers and teachers, the Rafto Foundation doubled the number of participants in our democracy and human rights education programme. We also see an increase in the demand for democracy and human rights education among teachers in Western Norway, particularly for expertise in topics such as inclusion, education in controversial subjects and efforts to combat group hostility in schools.

New strategy for 2019-2021

During the year, the Rafto Foundation developed a new strategy for 2019-2021. This strategy has high ambitions for how we will enhance and develop the Rafto Prize, partnerships for human rights, democracy and human rights education and volunteerism in the coming years. We are looking forward to working on these challenges!


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