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2012 Nansen Refugee Award: Invitation to Nominate Candidates

Do you know of anybody who has gone beyond the call of duty and shown outstanding dedication and service to the refugee cause? Or maybe a group of people or an organization? If so, please nominate them as a candidate for the Nansen Refugee Award.

Since Eleanor Roosevelt was named the first laureate in 1954, the Nansen Refugee Award has been conferred upon individuals and organisations who have demonstrated extraordinary dedication in their work on behalf of refugees. The award is named after the late Norwegian polar explorer, Fridtjof Nansen, who was the first League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.  

In 2011 UNHCR celebrated the 150th anniversary of the birth of Fridtjof Nansen at the Nansen Refugee Award ceremony. We recognised the 290 staff members of the Society for Humanitarian Solidarity (SHS) of Yemen and its founder, Nasser Salim Ali Al-Hamairy, for their outstanding work on behalf of refugees. SHS provides life-saving assistance to thousands of refugees and migrants who arrive on the shores of Yemen every year after crossing the Gulf of Aden by boat. SHS was honoured at a moving ceremony in Geneva.

Candidates for the Nansen Refugee Award have come from diverse backgrounds, ranging from those who have exhibited extraordinary acts of heroism to presidents, kings and politicians who have given life-long service to the refugee cause. Laureates have included King Juan Carlos I of Spain, Médecins Sans Frontières, US Senator Mr. Edward M. Kennedy, and photojournalist Alixandra Fazzina.

This year, once again, we seek to identify and reward deserving individuals, groups or organisations whose work has had an impact on the lives of refugees, internally displaced or stateless people. Anyone who has demonstrated perseverance and courage or who personally, directly and significantly helps forcibly displaced people would be a strong nominee.

The Award consists of a commemorative medal and a monetary prize of US$ 100,000, donated by the Governments of Norway and Switzerland. The prize money goes to assistance and protection projects for refugees which are drawn up and selected by the winner in consultation with UNHCR. 

To nominate a candidate for the 2012 Nansen Refugee Award, please request a nomination package at www.NansenAward.org and simply complete the Nansen Nomination form, and then send it to the Nansen Committee Secretariat by email or mail.  The strongest nominations will include detailed accounts of the candidates work and strong references to back up the submission. 

The deadline for submissions of nominations for the 2012 Nansen Refugee Award is 29 February 2012.