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 out one of the online forms below. Nominations for the 3rd Edition of the African Defenders Shield Awards will close on 15 March 2019. Both individuals and organisations are eligible for the award.


Second Edition

Moroccan Association for Human Rights

North Africa

Read more

Burkina Faso Civil Society

West Africa

Read more

Alice Nkom

Central Africa

Read more

Pierre Claver Mbonimpa


Read more

Thulani Maseko & Bheki Makhubu


Read more

First Edition

Imam Baba Leigh


Read more

Yara Sallam


Read more

Paulette Oyane-Ondo


Read more

Livingstone Sewanyana


Read more

Lúcia Da Silveira


Read more