The Nuremberg International Human Rights Award was presented for the first time on this day exactly 20 years ago. On 17 September 1995, Russian human rights activist Sergei Kovalev received the accolade for his committed opposition to the conflict in Chechyna. The award sponsored by NürnbergMesse is a response by the City of Nuremberg to the kind of state-sanctioned human rights violations associated with Nuremberg’s past. It’s intended to be a symbol for the entire world that Nuremberg will never again send out any messages other than those of peace, reconciliation, understanding and observance of human rights.
The Nuremberg International Human Rights Award does not just recognise the achievements of the recipients: It is also designed to help protect vulnerable human rights defenders and encourage others to commit to human rights. The EUR 15,000 award is presented every two years to individuals or groups that have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to human rights at great personal risk.
In 2015 the award went to trade unionist Amirul Haque Amin from Bangladesh. The award ceremony on Sunday 27 September will be followed by the Nürnberger Peace Table event. This community festival – organised by the Human Rights Office and the Agency for Culture and Recreation of the City of Nuremberg – allows Nuremberg’s citizens to send out a powerful message about peace, tolerance and observance of human rights far beyond the city’s boundaries. The Peace Table festival was held for the first time in 1999 and immediately broke all records. The table itself extended all around Nuremberg’s old town to become the longest peace table in the world. This year the peace table will reach from the Kornmarkt via Hallplatz along the Mauthalle to Königstrasse.