Indonesia-based NGO claims Taiwan human rights award
Legislative Yuan President and TFD Chairman Su Jia-chyuan (left) announces Jakarta-based NGO Gusdurian Network Indonesia as winner of the 2018 Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award Nov. 28 in Taipei City. (Courtesy of TFD)
Gusdurian Network Indonesia is the winner of the Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award for its efforts to promote multiculturalism, peace and tolerance, according to organizer Taiwan Foundation for Democracy Nov. 28.
At a news conference in Taipei City, Legislative Yuan President Su Jia-chyuan, who doubles as TFD chairman, praised the Jakarta-based nongovernmental organization as a well-deserved recipient whose work in advocating diversity and tackling discrimination serves as a model for nations around the world.
Noting that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 20th anniversary of the U.N. Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, Su said that fighting injustice is the responsibility of every citizen and government. It is hoped the award will encourage more countries to foster social equality and harmony, he added.
According to Shin Hae Bong, president of Japanese NGO Human Rights Now and a member of the judging panel, the GNI has contributed to creating a safe space for dialogue among people of different religious and ethnic backgrounds. This has cultivated interfaith communication, democracy and human rights throughout Asia, she said.
Founded in 2010 in the name of late Indonesia President Abdurrahman Wahid, the GNI is one of the foremost organizations for combating radicalism and intolerance in the Southeast Asian country.
Recent endeavors undertaken by the NGO include calling for a judicial review of laws that discriminate against believers of nonofficially recognized religions; providing humanitarian support to refugee Shia Muslims in Sampang; and intervening after church attacks in Aceh Singkil to advance communal reconciliation.
The GNI will formally receive the award and a grant of US$100,000 at a ceremony in Taipei set for Human Rights Day Dec. 10.
First presented by the TFD in 2006, the annual prize honors individuals or groups that peacefully support democracy and human rights in Asia. Past recipients include India-based Rescue Foundation, global press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders and U.S.-headquartered Boat People SOS.
The TFD was established in 2003 as the first national-level foundation in Asia aimed at promoting democracy. It also works to deepen connections between local and overseas advocacy groups and expand the participation of Taiwan in related organizations and activities worldwide. (SFC-E) (Taiwan Today)