Front Line Defenders says it is “hugely honoured to receive this prize"

An Irish human rights group has been awarded the 2018 United Nations Human Rights Prize.

Front Line Defenders (FLD) has been named as one of four winners of the prestigious prize.

The group was founded in 2001 to provide rapid and practical support for the security and protection of human rights defenders in at risk areas.

The group’s executive director Andrew Anderson said members are “hugely honoured to receive this prize.”

“As we approach the 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, we must redouble our efforts to protect those who risk their lives in the pursuit of justice and dignity,” he said.

“This recognition will help Front Line Defenders bring attention to the important work human rights defenders undertake at great personal risk.”

Welcoming the award on Twitter last night, the Tánaiste Simon Coveney said he was “proud to see them honoured as they work to protect human rights defenders in the most dangerous & challenging parts of the world.”

FLD said it was dedicating the prize to human rights defenders around the world “who struggle every day to advance and defend the rights for their communities.”

The organisation congratulated the three other winners of the prize – Tanzanian Rebeca Gyumi, Brazilian Joênia Wapichana (Joênia Batista de Carvalho) and the family of Ms Asma Jahangir from Pakistan.