Sweden Current Affairs - 2019

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Right Livelihood Award 2019

The winners of Right Livelihood Award 2019 were announced in Stockholm, Sweden. The year 2019 was celebrated as the 40th anniversary of Right Livelihood Award, widely known as ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’.

2019 Right Livelihood Award Laureates

The Sweden-based Right Livelihood Foundation announced 4 winners in 2019 edition of awards, namely-

  1. Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg– for inspiring and amplifying political demands for urgent climate action reflecting scientific facts
  2. Sahrawi human rights activist Aminatou Haidar- for her steadfast nonviolent action, despite imprisonment and torture, in pursuit of justice and self-determination for people of Western Sahara
  3. Chinese women’s rights lawyer Guo Jianmei– for her pioneering and persistent work in securing women’s rights in China.
  4. Hutukara Yanomami Association (Brazil) and its indigenous leader Davi Kopenawa– for their courageous determination to protect the forests and biodiversity of Amazon, and the lands and culture of its indigenous peoples

About Right Livelihood Award

The award was established in 1980 and is presented by Swedish Right Livelihood Foundation. The award honours and supports courageous people solving global problems. So far, there are 178 Right Livelihood Award Laureates from 70 countries.

The Swedish Right Livelihood Foundation has Special Consultative Status with UN Economic and Social Council. Thus the award also seeks to help protect those Award recipients whose life and liberty are in danger.

Unlike most other international prizes, the Right Livelihood Award has no categories. The award consists of a cash prize of 1 million Swedish kronor ($103,000) for each laureate.

Teen Climate activist Greta Thunberg wins Amnesty prize

The 16-year old climate activist, Greta Thunberg of Sweden won Amnesty International’s ‘Ambassador of Conscience’ Award 2019 for mobilising world public opinion global warming.

About Greta Thunberg

  • She is a Swedish teenage climate activist and a fierce campaigner who began protesting outside Swedish parliament in August 2018. She skipped school every Friday demanding Swedish government take more serious action to tackle climate crisis. Her demand was soon joined by other students. She announced that she would take a year off school to pursue her campaigning.
  • She has now become a figurehead for young climate activists internationally. Her ‘Fridays for Futuremovement has spread globally with students around the world strike from school to participate in climate protests. The schools strikes has become mass movement with more than 1 million young people participating from all over world and demonstrations in more than 100 countries.
  • She has been invited by International organisations to climate change events in an effort to put a human face on fight to curb carbon emissions.

About Amnesty’s Ambassador of Conscience Award

  • It was established in 2002.
  • Objective: It celebrates individuals and groups who further human rights cause with their acts of conscience, confronting injustice and using their talents to inspire others. Past awardees include Nelson Mandela, Harry Belafonte, Malala Yousafzai, Colin Kaepernick, Ai Weiwei and Joan Baez.
  • 2019 Award: Thunberg was awarded the prestigious Amnesty International prize in recognition of her efforts for mobilising world public opinion on imminent danger posed by global warming. The Amnesty award justifies that every young person taking part in ‘Fridays for Future’ embodies what it means to act on your conscience. The initiative remind us that we are more powerful than we think and we all have a role to play in protecting human rights against climate catastrophe.