Filipina activist Cristina Palabay awarded Franco-German Prize for Human Rights

Cristina Palabay awarded Franco-German Prize
Karapatan Human Rights Alliance Secretary-General Cristina “Tinay” Palabay at the Franco-German Prize award ceremony. Photo from German Embassy Manila/French Embassy Manila FB.

Filipino activist Cristina “Tinay” Palabay of Karapatan Human Rights Alliance has won the annual Franco-German Prize for Human Rights for her outstanding contributions and work to protect women and children’s rights, as well as press freedom.

Palabay was honored by the German and French Embassies in Manila for her advocacy work in protecting minorities, empowering women, upholding labor rights, and defending the freedom of the press and expression, among others.

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The Filipina human rights defender was named among the 15 laureates who were honored on December 10, International Human Rights Day, by the governments of Germany and France for promoting human rights and the rule of law in their own respective countries and around the world.

Palabay was recognized for her advocacy work as the Secretary-General of Karapatan Human Rights Alliance in the Philippines, an organization committed to the defense of people’s rights and civil liberties. She also co‑founded the Gabriela Women’s Party which stands up for women’s rights and combats human trafficking, among others.

The Franco-German award was presented to Palabay by ambassadors Anke Reiffenstuel of Germany and Michele Boccoz of France in an awards ceremony in Manila.

Federal Foreign Office photo

In her speech, the University of the Philippines (UP) alumna said she dedicates the award to those who work tirelessly to protect people’s rights and freedoms.

“I, we, stand with all of you today — unburied by those who wanted to take life and our rights away from all of us. This recognition, the Franco-German Human Rights Prize and the Rule of Law, is not only for me: it is for each and every person who believes in defending and advancing people’s rights,” said Cristina Palabay in her acceptance speech on December 15, 2021.

“I enjoin everyone to continue to protect and defend human rights defenders, to hold the line as what Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa said, and to re-create a world, a country where genuine respect, protection and solidarity for human and people’s rights exist,” Palabay added.

The Karapatan leader also thanked Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Chito Gascon who recently passed away. “I’d also like to pay special tribute to the Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Chito Gascon, who left us this year. Chair Chito and the CHR are our reliable partners in this difficult quest for justice and accountability,” she added.

The Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law is an award that aims to recognize the efforts of all those who work tirelessly every day to advance the causes of human rights and the rule of law. It is presented decentralized by the French and German missions in various locations around the world.

The first Filipino Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Maria Ressa, was recently honored in Oslo, Norway for defending press freedom.

Fr. Flaviano “Flavie” Villanueva also recently made history by becoming the first Filipino winner of the Human Rights Tulip Award from the Dutch government.

LINK: Human Rights Tulip Award
SVD Fr. Flavie Villanueva is 1st Filipino winner of Dutch prize for Human Rights

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to Filipino activist Cristina “Tinay” Palabay for winning the annual Franco-German Prize for Human Rights for her work in protecting women and children’s rights, as well as press freedom.

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.