Archbishop Desmond Tutu has been awarded the Human Rights Global Treasure Award in recognition of his lifelong commitment to advancing peace, equity, equality and human rights.
The award, given by from Article3.org, was announced on Thursday as part of the annual celebration of Human Rights Day, at a virtual event where peers paid tribute to “The Arch”.
“Archbishop Tutu is one of the most compassionate, unwavering and committed leaders for human rights and dignity,” said Darian Swig, founder of Article3.org.
Swig said Tutu has always spoken up and taken action for those most in need of a voice and a spotlight.
“Archbishop Tutu’s lifetime of leadership and action is particularly timely at this moment. We are at the precipice, and the path forward for human rights will require us to extend unconditional love to others, be bold with our ideas, and commit to staying the course amid unprecedented volatility.
“Archbishop Tutu’s resolve and his heart can serve as a powerful guide for all of us engaged in this space in the months and years ahead.”
Tutu, who is an Elder Emeritus, was described as a “leader in addressing and ending apartheid in SA”, and had continued to consistently advocate for those facing violence, discrimination, and marginalisation within their communities.
“He is a long-time advocate for gay and lesbian people around the globe, and has condemned persecution based on sexual orientation and gender identity in countries like Uganda. More recently, Tutu has been an active voice in calling attention to the state-sanctioned violence against the Rohingya in Myanmar. Archbishop Tutu’s commitment to human rights earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984,” thee organisation said.
Piyushi Kotecha, CEO of the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, said: “Now more than ever, it’s important that we see the common humanity in one another and understand the interconnectedness of ourselves, our communities, and our nations.
“We face enormous challenges, and addressing those challenges requires all of us to understand that conflict, violence and persecution are never isolated — what affects one of us affects all of us. We are eager to kick off a dialogue that helps grow the framework for how advocates, organisations and peacebuilders can create a more just and equitable society.”