Polish Prize of Sérgio Vieira de Mello, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Awarded to individuals and non-governmental organizations for their efforts to promote peaceful coexistence and cooperation among societies, religions and cultures.
Winners of the 16th edition of the Award:
Tamila Tasheva – is co-founder and chairman of the board of the NGO “CrimeaSOS,” an activist defending human rights and one of the leaders of the young generation of Crimean Tatars. She is actively involved in issues of internal refugees, human rights in Crimea, public interest activities and the development of Ukrainian laws on social welfare and humanitarian law on temporarily occupied territories. Tamila Tasheva has extensive experience in the civil society sector. Prior to the annexation of Crimea, she successfully introduced a series of cultural and educational projects and civic initiatives to promote Crimean Tatar culture and develop civil society in Ukraine. Among other things, she was a volunteer at the Maidan. Tamila Tasheva is co-founder of the Ukrainian grassroots social initiative CrimeaSOS, which has been an implementing partner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) programs for the protection of internally displaced persons in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine since 2014.
The Diocesan Center for Human Rights “Fray Juan de Larios (CDDHFJ) – was founded in 2001 in Mexico by the Bishop of the Diocese of Saltillo, Dominican Father Raúl Vera López. For nearly a decade, it has focused on cases involving enforced disappearances. Since 2009, as a result of a wave of violence in northern Mexico, particularly in the state of Coahuila, more and more mothers seeking missing children began reporting to CDDHFJL. Relatives of the disappeared were advised to form a group called Fuerzas Unidas por Nuestros Desaparecidos en Coahuila (FUUNDEC-FUNDEM). CDDHFJL accompanied and advised them on legal issues, provided psychological and organizational support in their dialogue with the authorities, and at the political level demanded justice and dialogue to immediately search for the disappeared, create and implement proper investigative protocols, implement a federal program for the relatives of the disappeared, and for the Mexican state to respect the UN recommendations. The center is also very active in the field of human rights education, sharing experiences with the community and throughout the country and imparting knowledge on the culture of respect for human rights. The director of CDDHFJL, based in Saltillo, Coahuila state, is Blanca Martinez. The President of the Association is Father Raúl Vera López, OP, Bishop of the Diocese of Saltillo.
Śp. Paweł Adamowicz – “My name is Pawel Adamowicz, I have the honor of being the mayor of my beloved Gdansk, the city of freedom and solidarity,” is how the mayor of Gdansk introduced himself on his official website. On Sunday, January 13, 2019, he died, assassinated during the finale of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. He was 54 years old, beginning his 21st year as mayor of Gdansk. Pawel Adamowicz studied law at the University of Gdansk. During the 1988 solidarity strike by UG students, he was chairman of the Student Strike Committee. In 1990 he became Poland’s youngest pro-rector for student affairs. That same year he won a seat as a councilman. In the following term, he was elected chairman of the Gdansk City Council. From the very beginning, he participated in the birth of self-government and in the process of Poland’s political transformation. He first became mayor of Gdansk when he was 33 years old. In the first direct election for the post, he received 72 percent support from residents (second round). During his last, sixth and victorious election campaign, he said: “Conducting this election campaign, the most intense of all those in which I was given the opportunity to participate, meeting with residents on the streets, visiting them in their homes – I once again learned that democracy is a bond between people.” One of Pawel Adamowicz’s many achievements during his tenure as mayor was that it was in Gdansk that the country’s pioneering Immigrant Integration Model was developed and a Council of Immigrants and Immigrant Women was established. To him, too, Gdańsk owes the Model for Equal Treatment as a weapon against manifestations of any discrimination. He believed in Gdansk’s special mission as a city of freedom and solidarity. “These two concepts reflect well the spirit of our city. Gdansk has proven the importance of freedom and democracy many times, in 1970, 1980, 1989, as well as now. That’s why I’ve been building and supporting processes aimed at developing civil society in our part of Europe, and especially in the Eastern Partnership countries, since the beginning,” – he wrote on his website.