Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will commemorate Human Rights Day by presenting the Eleanor Roosevelt Award to four American human rights defenders for their contributions to the promotion and protection of human rights both in the United States and abroad. This year’s honorees – Professor Louis Henkin, Alice Hartman Henkin, Wade Henderson, and Sarah Cleto Rial – were selected for the extraordinary work they have done to improve human rights, both at home and abroad.
Secretary Clinton’s statement in commemoration of Human Rights Day can be found at http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2010/12/152623.htm
The Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights was established by Secretary of State Albright in 1998, at the direction of President Clinton. The Award honors U.S. citizens who, like Eleanor Roosevelt herself, advocate tirelessly for human rights, both at home and abroad.
- PROFESSOR LOUIS HENKIN (posthumous) For more than 50 years, Professor Louis Henkin was a major figure in developing the study of human rights law and inspiring generations of legal scholars, government officials and activists.
- ALICE HARTMAN HENKIN For three decades, as the director of the Justice and Society Program at the Aspen Institute, she has brought together lawyers, business leaders and educators to help shape U.S. polices on human rights, international law and peacekeeping.
- WADE HENDERSON A tireless civil and human rights leader and advocate, Wade Henderson has led the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights as its president and Chief Executive Officer since 1996.
- SARAH CLETO RIAL A native of southern Sudan, Sarah Cleto Rial is the program director for My Sister’s Keeper, a Boston-based Non Governmental Organization that works to advance political, social and economic justice for women and girls in Sudan.
Today we honor the life and work of Natalya Estemirova, a brave Russian human rights defender and journalist, who was abducted and murdered in the North Caucasus region of Russia on July 15, 2009.
Ms. Estemirova devoted her career to bringing awareness and pressing for accountability for human rights abuses, particularly in Chechnya. The international community justifiably gave Ms. Estemirova a number of awards for her important work. A year has passed since her tragic death, yet those responsible for this horrible crime have yet to be brought to justice. We will continue to shine the spotlight on this case as part of our efforts to protect the brave journalists and civil society activists across the globe who, like Natalya, speak out against abuses and work to secure fundamental freedoms for their fellow citizens.