The foreign ministry has launched its first annual competition for the Stella Soulioti human rights award, named after the island’s first woman attorney-general (AG).
It said that candidacies can be submitted from Monday, August 2. The deadline is September 30.
Interested parties can either submit their own candidacy or nominate other individuals, groups, or organisations for the award by filling the relevant form.
The award was decided by cabinet on June 2 following a proposal from the foreign ministry and will be awarded every year on December 10, Human Rights Day, to individuals, groups or organisations which have demonstrated notable work and action over the past 12 months in a sector or sectors directly linked to the promotion and defence of human rights.
Candidacies or nominations can be submitted by or for individuals or groups who live legally in Cyprus as well as from or for NGOs which are registered and active in the Republic of Cyprus.
The candidacies will be evaluated by a five-member committee made up of the foreign minister (president), the justice minister, the Ombudsman and two personalities with recognised contribution to human rights to be selected annually at the recommendation of the three ex-officio members.
This year, the two nominated committee members are LGBT activist Alecos Modinos and journalist Tonia Stavrinou.
The award comes with a cash prize of €10,000 to bolster the actions of the winning candidate or group in promoting human rights in Cyprus.
Completed forms must be sent by post to the foreign ministry at Presidential Palace Avenue, 1447 Nicosia, labelled Human Rights Award on the envelope.
For more information and clarifications, telephone (+357) 22651229 or email [email protected]
Soulioti was born in 1920 and died in 2012. Before becoming AG in 1984, she was also the first Cypriot woman to join the British RAF during World War II. In the early sixties she led the Red Cross on the island and was also appointed justice minister after independence, the first woman in the world to hold that position, which she held until 1970. She had also held the position of health minister at the same time. Soulioti was also Cyprus’ first law commissioner from 1971 to 1974.