Photo: Hans Jørgen Brun
Laureate 1990

Aung San Suu Kyi

Leading the struggle for democracy in Burma

The 1990 Rafto Prize for Human Rights was awarded to Aung San Suu Kyi (1945), the leader of the National League for Democracy in Burma, for her peaceful struggle under the military dictatorship.



During the student uprising of 1988 Aung San Suu Kyi became involved in political protests and assisted in founding the National League for Democracy (NLD), which won the 1990 general elections. However, the elections were not recognised by the military government of Burma.

Aung San Suu Kyi had already been detained under house arrest before the 1990 elections. She remained under house arrest in Burma for almost 15 of the 21 years from July 1989 until her release in November 2010. Suu Kyi has become an icon for political liberation and democracy in Burma. Her non-violent struggle for democracy was internationally recognised when she received the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize.

Aung San Suu Kyi is the official patron of the Rafto Human Rights House in Bergen, Norway. She paid a historic visit to Bergen in June 2012.

Hjb Rafto Yanar Mohammed Web
Laureate 2016

Yanar Mohammed

Defender of women's rights in war-torn Iraq

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Laureate 2015

Padre Melo

A fearless voice in a violent country

Pavel Chikov
Laureate 2014

Agora - Pavel Chikov

Defender of the rule of law in Russia

BCHR-Hans-Jørgen-Brun
Laureate 2013

Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR)

The inconvenient demand for human rights in the Gulf

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Laureate 2012

Nnimmo Bassey

Defender of victims of climate change

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Laureate 2011

Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG)

Defender of LGBTI rights

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Laureate 2010

José Raúl Vera López

Defender of the vulnerable and the rejected

malahat nasibova
Laureate 2009

Malahat Nasibova

The brave voice of Nakhchivan

bulambo lembelembe josue
Laureate 2008

Bulambo Lembelembe Josué

Bringing hope for the victims of war

ncdhr dalit
Laureate 2007

National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights

Defenders of the downtrodden

Thich Quang Do @IBIB
Laureate 2006

Thích Quảng Độ

Peaceful oppositon against the communist regime

lidia yusupova chechnya
Laureate 2005

Lidia Yusupova

Defender of the forgotten victims of the war in Chechnya

Rebiya Kadeer
Laureate 2004

Rebiya Kadeer

Defender of the repressed Uyghurs

Paulos Tesfagiorgis
Laureate 2003

Paulos Tesfagiorgis

Lifelong work for democracy in Eritrea

sidi mohammed daddach
Laureate 2002

Sidi Mohammed Daddach

The Sahrawi people's struggle for self determination

Shirin Ebadi
Laureate 2001

Shirin Ebadi

Rights for women and children under the Islamic regime

Kim-Dae-Jung
Laureate 2000

Kim Dae-jung

Giving hope of re-conciliation with North Korea

Gennady Grushevoy
Laureate 1999

Gennady Grushevoy

Protecting the victims of the Chernobyl disaster

ECPAT logo
Laureate 1998

ECPAT

Committed to ending commercial sexual exploitation of children

Ian Hancock
Laureate 1997

Ian Hancock

Advocate for the rights and dignity of the Romani

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Laureate 1996

Palermo Anno Uno

Standing up against the Mafia and organized crime

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Laureate 1995

Committee of Soldiers' Mothers of Russia

Working for peace on behalf of those forced to wage war

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Laureate 1994

Leyla Zana

Peaceful struggle for the human rights of the Kurdish people

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Laureate 1993

José Ramos-Horta

Promoting independence for the people of East Timor

1992-Preah-Maha-Ghosananda
Laureate 1992

Preah Maha Ghosananda

Leading role in reconciling a country torn by war

Jelena-Bonner-2004-Svart-hvitt
Laureate 1991

Yelena Bonner

Lifelong work for political and religious freedom in the Soviet Union

doina-cornea
Laureate 1989

Doina Cornea

Writing for freedom in a communist dictatorship

peter molnar
Laureate 1989

FIDESZ - Péter Molnár

Founders of a democratic Hungary

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Laureate 1988

Trivimi Velliste

Reviving the past to liberate the future

Jiri-Hajek
Laureate 1987

Jiří Hájek

Foreign Affairs Minister of the Prague Spring and brave spokesperson for civil rights