Human Rights Tulip 2014 goes to Mideast Youth

The Human Rights Tulip 2014 has been awarded to Mideast Youth. The Human Rights Tulip is an annual award from the minister of Foreign Affairs for human rights defenders who defend and promote human rights in an innovative way. Minister Koenders will award the prize today. Esra’a Al Shafei will receive the award on behalf of the organization. ‘The dramatic worldwide deterioration of compliance with human rights obligations calls for unconventional measures against these violations. This is something that Mideast Youth excels in’, says Koenders.

Mideast Youth builds online platforms to give a voice to people who strive for human rights. These platforms create an environment in which (young) people can discuss subjects that are taboo in parts of the Middle East, such as equal rights for LGBT, equal rights for religious and ethnic minorities such as Baha’i and Kurds and the protection of labour migrants who face difficult living conditions in large parts of the Middle East. The websites are accessible and interactive, to make sure that the message is not just told, but also heard.

Esra’a Al Shafei (1986) is the founder and director of Mideast Youth. She is one of the most influential internet rights activists in the Arab world. Al Shafei fights for a world without censorship by using the internet as a platform for freedom of speech and information. She is the voice of a new generation that deploys social media, design and music to gain attention for controversial issues.

The director of Mideast Youth, winner of the Human Rights Tulip 2014, with the award.