International Campaign for Tibet
|Founded||March 15, 1988|
|Founder||Tenzin Namgyal Tethong|
|Type||Non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable corporation|
|Focus||Human rights activism|
The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) is a non-profit advocacy group working to promote democratic freedoms for Tibetans, ensure their human rights, and protect Tibetan culture and the environment. Founded in 1988, ICT is the world's largest Tibet-related NGO, with several hundred thousand members and strong bases of support in North America and Europe.
ICT maintains offices in Washington D.C., Amsterdam, Brussels and Berlin. ICT’s work focuses on three main areas: reporting on the situation inside Tibet, advocating for Tibet with governments, and reaching out to Chinese individuals, organizations, and media entities.
The International Campaign for Tibet works to promote self-determination, human rights, and democratic freedoms for the Tibetan people, and negotiations between the 14th Dalai Lama and the People’s Republic of China. The three main departments of ICT are devoted to reporting and communications, advocacy, and Chinese outreach.
Monitoring and reporting on human rights, environmental and socio-economic conditions in Tibet makes up a significant portion of ICT’s activities, with information coming directly from inside Tibet and also from a network of Tibetan researchers based in India and Nepal.
ICT advocacy efforts are focused on securing humanitarian and development assistance for Tibetans, and working with governments to develop policies and programs to help Tibetans. ICT asks its members to petition governments on behalf of Tibet, and organizes activities like the annual Tibet Lobby Day which gives constituents a chance to directly ask their representatives to help Tibet. Additional advocacy efforts are focused on achieving the release of Tibetans imprisoned for their political or religious beliefs.
Through Chinese Outreach, ICT engages Chinese thinkers and the broader Chinese public with the goal of increasing mutual understanding between Chinese and Tibetans. ICT is a member of International Federation for Human Rights.
ICT publishes several major reports each year, such as Dangerous Crossing, an annual report on Tibetan refugees seeking to escape repression in Tibet under Chinese rule. Other recent reports include a number focused on the 2008 Tibetan Uprising and the ensuing Chinese crackdown in Tibet, and a 2012 report entitled “60 Years of Chinese Misrule” which concludes that Chinese policies in Tibet have created elements of cultural genocide.
Periodical publications include the quarterly Tibet Press Watch and a Chinese-language journal called Liaowang Xizang.
- Lodi Gyari Rinpoche, Executive Chair of the ICT Board of Directors.
- Richard Gere, Chair of the ICT Board.
- Matteo Mecacci, President.
- Bhuchung K. Tsering, Vice President.
- Todd Stein, Director of Government Relations.
- Vince Metten, EU Policy Director.
- Tsering Jampa, Executive Director of ICT Amsterdam.
- Kai Muller, Executive Director of ICT Berlin.
Following the August 2002 deaths of ICT Co-chair Galen Rowell and his wife, Barbara Rowell, the ICT Board of Directors established the Rowell Fund. The Fund gives small grants to Tibetans whose projects deal with the environment/conservation, photography, humanitarian projects, journalism/literature, and women’s projects. In recent years the amount dispensed by the Rowell Fund has ranged from $35,000 to more than $40,000.
Light of Truth Award
Nearly annually the ICT presents the Light of Truth Award, a human rights award for persons and organizations that have publicly contributed substantially to the rise of and battle for human rights and democratic freedoms of the Tibetan people. On one occasion, in 2001, the award was presented to all the people of India, with president R. Venkataraman accepting delivery of the prize. The award has been presented since 1995 by the fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, to the recipients personally. The recipients are:
- 1995: A. M. Rosenthal
- 1996: Richard Gere, Lavinia Currier, and Michael Currier
- 1997: Charlie Rose, and Claiborne Pell
- 1998: Martin Scorsese, and Melissa Mathison
- 1999: Hugh Edward Richardson, and Danielle Mitterrand
- 2000: Richard C. Blum
- 2001: The people of India, taken delivery of by R. Venkataraman
- 2002: Heinrich Harrer, and Petra Kelly
- 2003: Benjamin A. Gilman, Michele Bohana, and Robert Thurman
- 2004: Otto Graf Lambsdorff, Irmtraut Wäger, and Václav Havel
- 2005: Elie Wiesel, Carl Gershman, and Lowell Thomas, Jr.
- 2006: Hergé Foundation, and Desmond Tutu
- 2009: Julia Taft, and Wang Lixiong
- 2011: George Patterson
ICT derives the vast majority of its funding (81%) from private contributions, according to the 2010 financial statement. Smaller sources of funding include donations from foundations (3%) and grants (1%).
- A Great Mountain Burned by Fire: China's Crackdown in Tibet, FIDH : "International Campaign for Tibet is a partner organisation of the FIDH".
- Human Rights in China, The EU-China Human Rights Dialogue: Perspectives from NGO Representatives, China Rights Forum, No 3, 2010 "But this was only possible because ICT became a member of the FIDH"
- Staff. "Rowell Fund for Tibet". International Campaign for Tibet. Retrieved 20120-08-30. Check date values in:
- Staff. "Light of Truth Awards". International Campaign for Tibet. Retrieved 2010-02-04.
- "International Campaign for Tibet 2010 Financial Statement" (PDF). ICT.