The African Human Rights Defenders Shield Awards aim to honor exceptional individuals who have contributed to changes in their community by peacefully promoting and protecting human rights, as universally recognised by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

While many of the stories featuring human rights defenders (HRDs) across the continent expose the sea of challenges and the threats that they continue to face, the Shield Awards highlight the positive impact of their outstanding  human rights work and their unwelding motivation. We hope that the stories of the award winners and nominees will inspire others to stand up and defend human rights.

The Shield Awards are composed of six different awards – an overall award and five sub-regional awards:

Pan-African Shield Award (Overall)
East and Horn of Africa Shield Award
West African Shield Award
Southern Africa Shield Award
Central Africa Shield Award
North Africa Shield Award


As the curtains close on this season’s nominations, we eagerly anticipate the next act. Keep your eyes peeled for the grand opening of the next chapter in the Shield Awards, where we’ll once again be seeking out the most awe-inspiring, inspiring, and transformative performers to shine a light on. So, stay alert and be ready to take center stage at the next nominations for the Shield Awards


Fourth Edition

Third Edition