The 2019 recipient of the 11th Stockholm Human Rights Award has been announced today as David Miliband and the humanitarian aid body that he heads, the International Rescue Committee (IRC). The Award will be presented on 4 November 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden, in the presence of an international audience of esteemed diplomats, legal experts and non-governmental organisations.
Given to an individual and/or organisation for outstanding contributions to human rights and the rule of law, the Award is bestowed annually by the Swedish Bar Association, the International Bar Association (IBA) and the International Legal Assistance Consortium.
Former recipients of the Award include Thomas Buergenthal, international jurist and professor of law for more than 50 years, and Mary Robinson, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997 until 2002, among others.
As the child of Jewish refugees who fled to the United Kingdom in the aftermath of World War II, Mr Miliband has a personal interest in supporting those who are displaced by crisis. As President and Chief Executive Officer of the IRC, he oversees relief operations in more than 40 war-affected countries and refugee resettlement programmes across 28 cities in the United States of America.
In 2018, the IRC and its international partners assisted 2,175 children and parents seeking asylum in the USA and resettled 5,374 refugees and Special Immigrant Visa recipients across 25 cities. In addition to its ongoing work in the USA, the IRC provides clean water, shelter, healthcare and education to people in conflict-stricken countries including Myanmar, Syria and Yemen. The IRC has a rich history dating back to the early 20th century, when, in addition to initiating emergency relief programmes at the end of World War II, it founded hospitals and children's centres.
Described by former US President Bill Clinton as ‘one of the most creative public servants of our time’, Mr Miliband has dedicated his career to improving access to justice and upholding the rule of law. After graduating from the University of Oxford in 1987 with a First Class Honours degree in philosophy, politics and economics, Mr Miliband attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a Kennedy Scholar to study political science. His commitment to public service was cemented when he joined the UK government as Member of Parliament for South Shields in 2001, a role he held for 12 years. In 2006, Mr Miliband was appointed Environment Secretary. In this post, he was responsible for developing British policy on climate change, and elevated the issue to priority status for policymakers. From 2007 until 2010, he served as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, a position he used to highlight and condemn human rights atrocities across the world. In 2013, he resigned his parliamentary seat to head the IRC.
Mr Miliband and the IRC will be presented with the 2019 Stockholm Human Rights Award onMonday 4 November 2019 at Berwaldhallen, Dag Hammarskjölds väg 3, Stockholm, Sweden. After the presentation, Mr Miliband will participate in a short interview with IBA Executive Director, Mark Ellis.
Past recipients of the Award:
- 2018: Thomas Buerghental
- 2017: International Criminal Court
- 2016: Mary Robinson
- 2015: Prince Zeid Ra‘ad Zeid Al-Hussein
- 2014: B’Tselem
- 2013: Professor M Cherif Bassiouni
- 2012: Thomas Hammarberg and European Roma Rights Centre
- 2011: George Soros and Aryeh Neier
- 2010: Navi Pillay
- 2009: Richard Goldstone