Ukranian Human Rights Defenders

leksandra Matviichuk / Center for Civil Liberties (CCL)

Ukrainian human rights defender Oleksandra Matviichuk and the Center for Civil Liberties receive 2022 Right Livelihood Award

STOCKHOLM – Ukrainian human rights defender Oleksandra Matviichuk and the Center for Civil Liberties (CCL), the organisation she leads, are recipients of the 2022 Right Livelihood Award for their decade-long work striving to achieve a full democratic transition in Ukraine and ensuring justice, including accountability for war crimes during Russia’s aggression.

Founded in 1980, the Right Livelihood Award honours and supports courageous people solving global problems. To date, 190 Laureates from 74 countries have received the Award, including Edward Snowden (United States of America), Dr Denis Mukwege (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Greta Thunberg (Sweden).

Founded in 2007, CCL’s mission is to promote human rights, democracy and solidarity in Ukraine and Eurasia. With Matviichuk at its helm, CCL has been instrumental in strengthening Ukrainian civil society and national institutions. They have also pushed to further the rule of law and adherence to international law, including by calling for Ukraine to become a member of the International Criminal Court.

Right Livelihood’s jury said that Matviichuk and CCL were receiving the award “for building sustainable democratic institutions in Ukraine and modelling a path to international accountability for war crimes.”

“Now we are going through a very dramatic time of Ukrainian history, we are fighting for freedom in all senses. We are fighting for the freedom to be an independent state, we are fighting for the freedom to be Ukrainians, we are fighting for the freedom to have a democratic choice. We are paying a rather high price for this. So this Award is a gesture of support for our struggle in general, and for my work, in particular,” Matviichuk said.

“Oleksandra Matviichuk and CCL have fought for democracy and human rights in Ukraine since 2007,” said Ole von Uexkull, Executive Director at Right Livelihood. “Their work of documenting abuses has gained even more importance due to Russian aggression in Ukraine. Matviichuk and CCL are now part of a ground-breaking international effort to ensure accountability for war crimes and other violations. Under extreme circumstances, they keep the focus on victims on the ground and strengthening democracy.”

Matviichuk and CCL are the first Ukrainian recipients of the Right Livelihood Award.

The 2022 Laureates will be honoured during a televised Award Presentation in Stockholm on Wednesday, November 30.

About Right Livelihood

Established in 1980, Right Livelihood honours and supports courageous people solving global problems. Housed under the umbrella of a foundation, Right Livelihood is a courage-powered community for social change committed to peace, justice and sustainability for all.

Each year, Right Livelihood highlights change-makers through an Award. To date, 190 Laureates from 74 countries have received the distinction. By recognising the actions of brave visionaries and building impactful connections around the world, Right Livelihood boosts urgent and long-term social change.

However, the work of Right Livelihood goes beyond only presenting the Award: they provide these change-makers with life-long support. Right Livelihood is a megaphone and a shield for the Laureates: raising their profile, providing them protection when their lives and liberty are in danger, and educating people on their innovative solutions.

Right Livelihood is headquartered in Stockholm, with an office in Geneva. The Foundation has Consultative Status with the UN.