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The American Bar Association (ABA) invites nominations for its 2024 International Human Rights Award, an annual award that recognizes and celebrates a human rights leader or organization from the global community for exceptional commitment and contributions to the advancement of international human rights. The award is given on behalf of the ABA’s Center for Global Programs, Center for Human Rights; Rule of Law Initiative; Civil Rights and Social Justice Section; International Law Section; and Litigation Section. Nominations are open from April 24, 2024, until 12:00 a.m. (midnight) ET on June 7, 2024.

Award Criteria

The award is conferred for exceptional achievements by an individual or organization that has been a champion and/or defender of human rights outside the United States, consistent with international human rights law. The nominee’s contributions should demonstrate leadership, dedication, courage, and perseverance in advancing human rights. 

The award recognizes contributions by a human rights champion or defender who works outside the United States or who worked outside the United States at the time the contributions were made. A nominated individual need not be a legal practitioner. A nominated organization need not be a legal services provider.  Self-nominations are permitted.

Nomination Package

A nomination package should include a brief description of how the nominee meets the award criteria (award narrative) and may include up to three letters of support or supporting materials. The nomination package must be sent through the online nominations form by 12:00 a.m. (midnight) ET on June 7, 2024.

Questions about the application can be directed to Sarah Timoti at: [email protected]g

Prepare the Nomination Information

Please ensure that you have all the following information and documents before filling out the nomination form:

1. Contact information for the nominator (Required)

2. Basic information about the nominee (Required)

  • Contact information for nominee
  • Resume, Biography or Organizational Profile (2 page limit)
  • Link to nominee’s website, digital profile, and/or social media (Optional) 

3. Award Criteria Narrative (Required) (Max 750 words) 

  • Please describe how the nominated individual or organization meets the award criteria.

4. Supporting Materials (Optional) (Combined Maximum Total of 6 Pages)

  • Nominations may include up to three letters of support or other materials.

Important Considerations

  • Please include the year and nominee name in the file name.
    For example:  2024_Nomination_NomineeName_support.pdf  
  • The form only allows upload of PDF and Word documents.  
  • File size should not exceed 2MB. 
  • Please observe word and page limits - the portions of submissions that exceed the limits will not be considered.

Submit Your Nomination

Please submit the above documents for the nomination package through the online nominations form, linked below, by 12:00 a.m. (midnight) ET on June 7, 2024.

Nomination Form

Download the Call For Nominations

Click to download the PDF file.

Past Recipients


Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani is a Pakistani judge who served as the 21st Chief Justice of Pakistan from 2013 to 2014. He previously served as a Justice of the Supreme Court from 2004, after being nominated Justice of the Lahore High Court by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 1994. Justice Jillani is known as a liberal, independent and balanced Judge. As a Judge of the High Court and Supreme Courts, he delivered opinions and authored judgments on various issues of domestic and international concern such as enforcement of fundamental rights, gender equality, the right of an adult woman to marry a person of her choice in Islam, declaring the right to education a fundamental right, and holding that in an age of globalized inter-dependence, dual nationality should be permitted.


Professor María Soledad Cisternas Reyes, a Chilean lawyer and a disability rights activist, is the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General on Disability and Accessibility. Cisternas Reyes has been a true pioneer in the field of international human rights law and a champion of the most vulnerable populations across the world. Her own experience as a blind lawyer, together with her commitment and hard work, has a real impact on the daily lives of the populations she serves.


Adeola Austin Oyinlade, a Nigerian lawyer, human rights advocate and international law expert known for providing pro bono legal services to those in need in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa. Oyinlade has utilized innovative means, including radio broadcast and technology, as platforms for human rights empowerment.


Margaret Ngoi-Yee Ng, a barrister, journalist, and former politician based in Hong Kong. She has had an active role in the opposition movement against the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill of 2019, an extradition bill that would allow Hong Kong to detain and transfer people wanted in countries and territories with which it has no formal extradition agreements, including Taiwan and the Chinese mainland.


Waleed Abu al-Khair, a Saudi lawyer and founder of Monitor for Human Rights, one of a few human rights organizations in Saudi Arabia, who has advocated for an elected parliament, independent judiciary, and other democratic reforms. In 2014, Abu al-Khair was arrested and sentenced to 15 years in prison for his human rights activism under an “anti-terrorism” law that was put in place halfway through his trial.


Abdelrahman Al Gasim, a Sudanese lawyer who has spent over two decades representing and expanding access to justice for victims of rights violations in Sudan. Al Gasim played a pivotal role in co-founding the Darfur Bar Association (DBA), an institution that has lead the way in protecting human rights and civil liberties in Sudan. His work has both directly and indirectly led to dozens of rights abuse cases being heard.


Patricia Guerrero, a Colombian lawyer, former judge and activist, as well as the founder and director of the League of Displaced Women (Liga de Mujeres Desplazadas), an independent nonprofit organization that advocates for protections for women who have been forced to flee their homes because of the country’s armed conflict.


Wang Yu (王宇), a Chinese lawyer who was detained and jailed by Chinese authorities in what was the beginning of a crackdown on hundreds of Chinese lawyers and human rights advocates. Ms. Wang received the award in absentia.