The Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. The 2019 Award goes to Aminatou Haidar (Western Sahara), Guo Jianmei (China), Greta Thunberg (Sweden) and Davi Kopenawa / Hutukara Yanomami Association (Brazil). The Laureates were announced in Stockholm, Sweden, today.
The announcement was made during a press conference at the International Press Centre at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Ole von Uexkull, Executive Director of the Right Livelihood Foundation, commented: “With the 2019 Right Livelihood Award, we honour four practical visionaries whose leadership has empowered millions of people to defend their inalienable rights and to strive for a liveable future for all on planet Earth. Besides the prize money, we offer the Laureates long-term support and will help protect those whose lives and liberty are in danger.”
The international jury has selected four Laureates who will each receive 1 million SEK (94,000 EUR):
The human rights defender Aminatou Haidar (Western Sahara) receives the Right Livelihood Award “for her steadfast nonviolent action, despite imprisonment and torture, in pursuit of justice and self-determination for the people of Western Sahara”.
Over 30 years of peaceful campaigning for the independence of her homeland have earned Haidar the byname “Sahrawi Gandhi”. Her dignity and resolve make her one of the most respected leaders among the Sahrawis. It is the first time that a Right Livelihood Award goes to a Laureate from Western Sahara.
The lawyer Guo Jianmei (China) receives the Right Livelihood Award “for her pioneering and persistent work in securing women’s rights in China”.
Guo is one of the most distinguished lawyers in the field of women’s rights in China. Throughout her career, she has helped thousands of disadvantaged women in getting access to justice.
Climate activist Greta Thunberg (Sweden) receives the Right Livelihood Award “for inspiring and amplifying political demands for urgent climate action reflecting scientific facts”.
Thunberg is the powerful voice of a young generation that will have to bear the consequences of today’s political failure to stop climate change. Her resolve to not put up with the looming climate disaster has inspired millions of peers to also raise their voices and demand immediate climate action.
Indigenous leader Davi Kopenawa of the Yanomami people, and the Hutukara Yanomami Association (Brazil) jointly receive the Right Livelihood Award “for their courageous determination to protect the forests and biodiversity of the Amazon, and the lands and culture of its indigenous peoples”.
Kopenawa is one of the most respected indigenous leaders in Brazil. He has dedicated his life to protecting Yanomami rights, their culture and lands in the Amazon. Kopenawa is co-founder and President of the Hutukara Yanomami Association which is conserving the rainforest and advancing indigenous rights in Brazil.
Please visit www.rightlivelihood.org for more information.
Prof. Anwar Fazal, Director of the Right Livelihood College, welcomes all Right Livelihood Award Laureates as Fellows of the RLC.