Press release

The 2020 Mark Palmer Prize: Call for Nominations

Freedom House and the Community of Democracies are calling for nominations for the 2020 Mark Palmer Prize to recognize those whose work has advanced democracy and human rights.

Freedom House and the Community of Democracies are soliciting nominations for the 2020 Mark Palmer Prize to honor diplomats and international civil servants whose work has advanced democracy and human rights. The award was inspired by Mark Palmer, the late U.S. Ambassador to Hungary and a longtime Freedom House trustee and vice chair. Ambassador Palmer devoted his life to supporting democratic transitions in closed societies globally, including in Hungary.

The Mark Palmer Prize has been awarded to diplomats and international civil servants from around the world, including Peru, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Mongolia, Sweden, Canada, Uruguay, and the United States. It seeks to honor individuals working tirelessly to defend democracy, human rights, and civil society.

Nominees for the 2020 Mark Palmer Prize should demonstrate one or more of the following accomplishments:

  1. Demonstrated support for civil society’s right to freedoms of assembly, expression, and other principles as outlined in the Warsaw Declaration of the Community of Democracies
  2. Supported efforts to ensure broader political participation
  3. Contributed significantly to ensuring free and fair elections
  4. Sustained efforts to support human rights, including actions that resulted in a release of prisoners of conscience, an end to cruel and inhuman punishment, or other tangible improvements
  5. Facilitated a broader dialogue on democratic reform
  6. Coordinated effective international efforts to advance movement toward democracy
  7. Identified and articulated the importance of democratic values, despite working in a closed or authoritarian society
  8. Contributed innovative ideas and support for the consolidation of democratic institutions in countries in transition
  9. Upheld the idea of rule of law in countries where it is not practiced 10. Supported citizen-led nonviolent movements committed to challenging authoritarianism and advancing human rights and democratic freedoms

The Selection Committee is especially eager to receive nominations for diplomats and international civil servants from Global South countries. To nominate someone, please reach out to Ben Schultz at [email protected].

Freedom House is a non-governmental organization that works to defend human rights and promote democratic change, with a focus on political rights and civil liberties, through a combination of analysis, advocacy, and action.

The Community of Democracies is an historic global initiative launched 20 years ago bringing together the world’s democratic governments, which committed to work collectively to strengthen democratic principles, norms, and processes as outlined in its foundational document, the Warsaw Declaration.