Nominations are being sought for the 2008 RRRT/SPC Pacific Human Rights Award, which for the first time in a decade honours individual accomplishment.

Launched today by the Pacific Regional Rights Resource Team of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (RRRT/SPC), the Pacific Human Rights Award has been presented to Pacific Island organisations that have shown extraordinary dedication to protecting the rights of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in the region since 1999.

RRRT Programme Manager Sandra Bernklau said this year the award was unique in that it would honour courageous and innovative individuals for 'outstanding achievement in the field of human rights' to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

"The award is an opportunity not only to give public recognition to the achievements of the recipients themselves, but also to send a clear message that the Pacific community is grateful for, and supports, the efforts of individuals in promoting human rights for all," Bernklau said.

Among a number of criteria, nominees must have demonstrated strong commitment to social justice, human rights, democracy and the rule of law, as well as a high degree of commitment in their personal lives and actions to the framework of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Adopted on 10 December 1948, the declaration was the first international recognition that all human beings have fundamental rights and freedoms, as well as being a global commitment to universal dignity and justice.

The 2008 award will be presented at an event in Suva, Fiji Islands, in early December 2008 as part of the annual commemoration of International Human Rights Day.

The award can be granted posthumously. More detailed instructions about eligibility and the procedures for nominations can be found at The closing date for the receipt of nominations is 31 October, 2008. Organisations or individuals can
nominate people for the award.