Laureate 1987

Jiří Hájek

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

The Rafto Foundation chose Jiří Hájek (1913-1993), the former Minister of Foreign Affairs in Czechoslovakia, to be its first recipient of the Rafto Prize for Human Rights.

Jiří Hájek was one of the four founders and architects of Charta 77, the civil rights movement. Jiří Hájek emerged as a prominent spokesperson for Charta 77. Despite facing police interrogations and threats on his life, he determinedly raised awareness for and defended the uncompromising Charta 77 document, which voiced the principals of universal human rights.

As president of Charta 77, Jiří Hájek briefly enjoyed the cooperation and friendship of the Norwegian human rights activist Thorolf Rafto from Bergen, whom he respected for his convictions and ideals.

The ideas of the Charta 77 are congenial with the principles of the Rafto Foundation. It was fitting that the front figure of Charta 77 was awarded the first Rafto Prize (1987). Jiří Hájek acted as a torch bearer for the fight for human rights tradition.

Hjb Rafto Yanar Mohammed Web
Laureate 2016

Yanar Mohammed

Defender of women's rights in war-torn Iraq

Padre-Melo-2
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

Raul-Lopez
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

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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

aung san suu kyi
Laureate 1990

Aung San Suu Kyi

Leading the struggle for democracy in Burma

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Laureate 1989

Doina Cornea

Writing for freedom in a communist dictatorship

peter molnar
Laureate 1989

FIDESZ - Péter Molnár

Founders of a democratic Hungary

trivimi velliste estonia-2
Laureate 1988

Trivimi Velliste

Reviving the past to liberate the future