In 1984, Robert F. Kennedy’s eldest child, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, saw a need to celebrate and support activists whose work reflected his conviction that one person can make a difference and that each of us should try. That year, Kathleen founded the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award to honor courageous activists who spoke truth to power. In the years since, RFK Human Rights has forged strategic partnerships with its laureates, whose work advances human rights causes all over the world. In combining resources and collaborating on ideas and strategies with RFK Human Rights, our laureates have been able to amplify their transformative work and broaden awareness of their causes to a worldwide audience.

The award is chosen annually through a rigorous nomination and selection process. Activists and human rights leaders worldwide are encouraged to apply.

Information regarding the nomination process can be found here.

For more information, please email

Click here to submit a nomination