The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to give Nobel Peace Prize for 2022 to human rights advocate Ales Bialiatski from Belarus, the Russian human rights organisation Memorial and the Ukrainian human rights organisation Center for Civil Liberties.
- Ales Bialiatski was one of the initiators of the democracy movement that emerged in Belarus in the mid-1980s. He is also credited with founding the organisation Viasna (Spring) in 1996 in response to the controversial constitutional amendments that gave the president dictatorial powers. Over time, Viasna evolved into a “broad-based human rights organisation that documented and protested against the authorities’ use of torture against political prisoners”.
- Russian Memorial organisation was established in 1987, “by human rights activists in the former Soviet Union who wanted to ensure that the victims of the communist regime’s oppression would never be forgotten.” Nobel Peace Prize laureate Andrei Sakharov, who won the prize in 1954, and human rights advocate Svetlana Gannushkina were among the organisation’s founders.
- The Center for Civil Liberties was founded in Kyiv in 2007 “for the purpose of advancing human rights and democracy in Ukraine”. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Center for Civil Liberties has engaged in efforts to identify and document Russian “war crimes” against the Ukrainian civilian population.
About Nobel Peace Prize –
- In his will, signed by Alfred Nobel on November 27, 1895, he mentioned that one part of his fortune that went towards the Nobel Prizes would be dedicated to “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”.
- The Nobel Peace Prizes have been awarded since 1901 and was not awarded on 19 occasions including 1914-1916, 1918, 1939-1943 among some other years.
- This is because the statutes of the Nobel Foundation mention, “If none of the works under consideration is found to be of the importance indicated in the first paragraph, the prize money shall be reserved until the following year. If, even then, the prize cannot be awarded, the amount shall be added to the Foundation’s restricted funds.” Therefore, fewer awards were given during the two World Wars.
- Overall, the prize has been awarded to 135 laureates, including 107 individuals and 28 organisations. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has been awarded the prize twice.
- So far, the youngest laureate is Malala Yousafzai, who was 17 years old when she won in 2014 and the oldest recipient was Joseph Rotblat who was given the award at the age of 87 in 1995.
- Mother Teresa (1979) and Kailash Satyarthi (2014) are the only two Indian citizens who have won the Nobel Peace Prize as of yet.