Secretary General of Amnesty International
Sydney Peace Prize Citation: For her leadership as a courageous advocate of universal respect for human rights, and her skills in identifying violence against women as a massive injustice and therefore a priority in campaigning for peace.
Sydney Peace Prize Lecture: Making Tough Choices in a Tough World, Peace Security and Human Rights
Read Irene Khan’s lecture: 2006 SPP_ Irene Khan
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Director of the Sydney Peace Foundation, Emeritus Professor Stuart Rees, said “The peace prize jury recognised the significance of Ms Khan’s efforts to eliminate violence towards women, whether that violence was caused by poverty, by men’s abusive power, by cultural norms or religious traditions. We are also impressed by her diversity – someone who was brought up as a Muslim in Bangladesh, who has married into another culture, who was educated in three different countries and has served the United Nations High Commission for Refugees for over 20 years before becoming Secretary General of Amnesty International”.
“I am deeply honoured to receive the Sydney Peace Prize” said Irene Khan from Amnesty International’s London headquarters. “Through this award, the Sydney Peace Foundation recognizes that there can be no peace without justice and respect for human rights. I passionately believe in the power of human rights as a set of global values to bring our fractured and divided world together. Around the world human rights activists are giving hope to millions of people – women, indigenous people, the poor and the marginalised – in their struggle for equality and dignity. This award is for them. In their name I accept this award with humility and with gratitude”.