The prize is awarded annually to an institution, organization or person with a connection to the region of Nord Jæren, and has done a deserving effort to promote work and knowledge on human rights.
“We are very happy and proud to receive the prize”, says ICORN Director Helge Lunde.
“We highly appreciate this recognition of our work to protect and promote the important voices working for a better world. This prize is also for them, and all the 53 cities in our international network. They give refuge and a new start to writers and artists who risk their lives in their struggle for freedom of expression and basic human rights in their home countries. It means a lot to our organization that the work that we do from our base in Stavanger is recognized locally.”
With the award comes 25.000 NOK. The money will be put in an Emergency Fund to support writers and artists in need during the interval between the invitation to and arrival in the a city of refuge.
The jury’s motivation
ICORN has since established in 2006 helped over 140 writers, artists and human rights defenders into safety. Common for the hosted writers and artists is that they are persecuted for voicing their opinion or for trying to enlighten others and as a consequence, been imprisoned, tortured, persecuted, threatened and attempted killed. ICORN gives these people a safe haven where they can continue their work freely. They become new and important voices in their new cities and for the surrounding areas. They bring experiences and knowledge and participate in literary festivals, they write, visit schools and participate in cultural and political events. The cities of refuge also give them the opportunity to continue their work and many remain important voices in their home countries.
The jury consists of Øyvind Gjerde from the UN Association, Camilla Andersson from Amnesty International, Therese Håland Haver from Sparebank1 SR Bank, Merete Kosberg fra Sola ungdomsskole and the Municipality of Sola, represented by Morten E. Hansen.
The Nord Jærens Human Rights Award was founded in 1999 by the Municipality of Sola, in cooperation with the local bank, Sparebank 1 SR Bank.