Mary Robinson Receives Stockholm Human Rights Award

courtesy of the International Bar Association©
Courtesy of the International Bar Association©

Mary Robinson, a former President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, received the 2016 Stockholm Human Rights Award recognizing her outstanding contribution to the rule of law and human rights.

The Stockholm Human Rights Award is given annually by ILAC, the Swedish Bar Association and International Bar Association in recognition of those advancing international justice and strengthening respect for human rights.

President Robinson, founder of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, dedicated the award to all those who struggle for human rights and encouraged that the commitment to human rights must be stronger in difficult times.

“It is a time with too much hate speech, xenophobia, racism and sexism that should not be part of civilized society. In receiving the award in such a troubled time, I’m reminded of something very fundamental, which all of us working in human rights know all too well: it is, and always has been, a struggle.” said President Robinson during her acceptance speech. “We need constant vigilance. We don´t always move forward in the way we would like, but we continue the struggle with even more determination and commitment precisely because we know how important it is for those who are in the margin and coalface of human rights.”

President Robinson also commented on the current challenges for human rights and climate justice, “Nationalism is opposed to the kind of solidarity we will need to tackle the problems of our world” she said. “The most urgent problem is the existence threat of climate change.”

Credit: Vanessa Passos
                                Credit: Vanessa Passos

The 2016 Stockholm Human Rights laureate defined herself as a prisoner of hope and reminded the audience of their crucial role in advocating for human rights and global justice for the disempowered and marginalised around the world.

ILAC’s president, Elizabeth Howe attended the November 23 ceremony along with Swedish Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström, Sweden’s Prime Minister’s State Secretary, Hans Dahlgren and other notable Swedish public figures and human rights representatives.


The full ceremony is available to watch here.