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


To make a nomination please fill the online form below. Nominations for the 4th Edition of the African Defenders Shield Awards will close on 15 December 2022. Both individuals and organisations are eligible for the award.


Third Edition