Each year, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights bestows awards in four major categories, each recognizing a person who has dedicated him or herself to the advancement of justice and human rights. Honorees include journalists, authors, activists, and leaders whose careers have served to further ideals of justice on an international scale.

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The RFK Journalism Awards  celebrate excellence in journalism in twelve categories, from investigative journalism to satirical cartoons and documentary film.

The Robert F. Kennedy Book Award  recognizes authors whose works of moral insight and imagination uphold a  vision of political inclusion, compassion, and justice.

The Ripple of Hope Award  pays tribute to leaders whose careers have served to champion Robert F. Kennedy’s ideals of equal opportunity, freedom of the individual, and justice for the oppressed and marginalized.

The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award  aplauds an individual who stands up to oppression at grave personal risk in the nonviolent pursuit of human rights. In granting this award, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights stands with the activists and their organizations, supporting them in their endeavors, and connecting them to a global network in order both to strengthen their work and raise awareness. Since its inception in 1984, the Human Rights Award has honored and championed activists in 30 countries.