30 March 2017

10 more days to apply for the Dutch Human Rights Tulip award

Human Rights Tulip

Interview with the winner of 2016: Nighat Dad, digital rights defender for women in Pakistan

TIME magazine and many more named Nighat Dad as one of the Next Generation Leaders in 2015 for her work on helping women to fight online harassment. She founded the Digital Rights Foundation in 2012, an organisation committed to protecting women and girls and marginalised groups on social media.

Justice and Peace Netherlands is involved in the selection process and support of the winner of the Tulip Award.

Nominations for the Human Rights Tulip are open until 10 April 2017. Apply now.

1. According to your opinion, what is the meaning of winning the Tulip Award? How this prize has contributed to the development of your organisation's work?

“Winning this award means that there is greater international and national awareness of the work that Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) has been doing, and greater attention given to what we do, not to mention the validation. It has made people realize that digital rights are a crucial and serious issue within Pakistan.

Furthermore it allowed my dream of establishing Pakistan's first dedicated Cyber Harassment to come true, and through this prize we will be able to sustain the operations.”

2. What kind of help this award can bring to future winners? 

“This award, aside from the financial benefit which can provide more funding for projects, can bring skilled expertise from the government of The Netherlands and others that can greatly enhance the work that DRF and others do. The award also provides opportunities to build connections with organisations in The Netherlands.

It also brings recognition and can be a gateway to other opportunities. Since getting the Award, I have had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful organizations and people--and given so many opportunities.”

3. How would you describe your stay in The Netherlands? What about the meetings and the networking? 

“My stay in The Netherlands was wonderful. It was a great learning experience for me and allowed me to interact with so many great organizations working there as well as the government itself. It was great to know that I have support for my work outside of Pakistan. My entire schedule was packed throughout and I wish to take away all that I have learnt and pass it on to my organization.”

4. Do you think that more countries shall adopt the example of The Netherlands and establish a similar award and preserve human rights defenders work? 

“Yes. Having such awards highlights and brings much needed attention to the work that human rights defenders do. It brings validation and in many instance much needed support infrastructure to human rights defenders, to allow them to continue their hard work with more resources.

Activism and human rights advocacy can be a thankless job at times and awards such as these acknowledge the work and emotional energy that is spent in fighting for causes that are important and urgent.”