Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award

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The Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights was established in 1998 by the President of the United States Bill Clinton, honoring outstanding promoters of rights in the United States.[1]

The award was first awarded on the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, honoring Eleanor Roosevelt's role as the "driving force" in the development of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The award was presented from 1998 to the end of the Clinton Administration in 2001.

In 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton revived the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights and presented the award on behalf of President Obama.


Recipients of the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award
Name Year Reason Ref(s)
Robert L. Bernstein 1998 Founder of Human Rights Watch and retired chairman of Random House [2]
John Lewis 1998 Lifelong civil rights leader [2]
Bette Bao Lord 1998 Human rights activist, China scholar and novelist. [2]
Dorothy Thomas 1998 Women's rights activist responsible for groundbreaking research and advocacy on human rights violations against women around the world. [2]
Charlotte Bunch 1999 An international women's rights activist, instrumental in securing the inclusion of gender and sexual orientation on the global human rights agenda. [3]
Dolores Huerta 1999 Co-founder and leader of the United Farm Workers of America and lifelong labor activist. [3]
Burke Marshall 1999 For his lifelong commitment to civil rights, including his service as Assistant Attorney General in the Kennedy Administration. [3]
Jean Marshall 1999 A Dominican nun who founded St. Rita's Immigrant and Refugee Center in the Bronx, in service to victimized immigrants. [3]
Leon Sullivan 1999 anti-apartheid activist and author of the Global Sullivan Principles promoting corporate social responsibility worldwide, that he unveiled at the United Nations that year together with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. [3]
Tillie Black Bear 2000 A strong voice for Native American and women's rights and a leading advocate for victims of domestic violence. [4]
Frederick Charles Cuny 2000 A lifetime of service to the civilian victims of conflict and disaster. [4]
Norman Dorsen 2000 Former President of the American Civil Liberties Union and Chairman of the Board of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights [now known as Human Rights First]. [4]
Elaine R. Jones 2000 She has represented the [Legal Defence Fund] in landmark cases before the Supreme Court, promoted groundbreaking civil rights legislation and widened the circle of opportunity for all Americans. [4]
Theodore Edgar McCarrick 2000 Lifelong human rights advocate. [4]
Frank Wolf 2001 Worked tirelessly for the passage of landmark human rights legislation, including the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 and legislation on trafficking in persons. [5]
John Kamm 2001 For working to engage the Chinese Government in a results-oriented dialogue on human rights. [5]
Barbara Elliott 2001 For starting a private initiative to provide people with basic needs and help them through the transition following the fall of the Berlin Wall. [5]
Louis Henkin 2010 (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. [6]
Alice Hartman Henkin 2010 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. policies on human rights, international law and peacekeeping. [6]
Wade Henderson 2010 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. [6]
Sarah Cleto Rial 2010 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. [6]