The Digest

Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought

Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought

Award Details

Focus theme
Freedom of Expression, Civil Society, Censorship, Human Rights Defenders

Geographical focus

Public nominations

Prize Money (EUR)

Upcoming ceremony


Year Founded

Year Discontinued

Award Frequency



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About Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought

The European Parliament supports human rights through the annual Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, established in 1988. The prize is awarded to individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to the fight for human rights across the globe, drawing attention to human rights violations as well as supporting the laureates and their cause. In September each year MEPs can nominate candidates for the Sakharov Prize. Each nominee must have the support of at least 40 MEPs, and each individual Member may support only one nominee. Signed nominations accompanied by supporting evidence are then assessed in a joint meeting of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET), the Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) and the Committee on Development (DEVE). A shortlist of three candidates is drawn up through a vote by AFET and DEVE committees, and then submitted to the Conference of Presidents for a final vote. The winner is usually announced in October, and the award ceremony takes place in December at plenary sitting in Strasbourg.

Past Laureates

List of Award Laureates coming soon!

Links about Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought