The 2022 Voltaire Human Rights Awards

The Liberty Victoria Human Rights Awards

The 2022 Voltaire Human Rights awards will be presented at an Awards Dinner to be held at the Sofitel Hotel Melbourne at 7pm on Friday 18 November 2022.

The Liberty Victoria Voltaire Human Rights Awards is an important event in the Australian human rights calendar. For more than two decades, the Voltaire Human Rights Award has been presented to a person or organisation for outstanding contributions to civil liberties and human rights. Award recipients have included journalists, activists, whistleblowers, lawyers, writers, students, cartoonists and comedians.

In 2016, Liberty Victoria introduced the ‘Empty Chair’ Human Rights Award, and 2017 saw the awarding of the inaugural ‘Young Voltaire Human Rights Award’.

Liberty Victoria recently broadened its criteria for the awards to embrace those who have made outstanding contributions to civil liberties, human rights and free speech, with particular emphasis on progressing freedom, respect, equality, dignity and action.

We have chosen to emphasise action on freedom, respect, equality and dignity as four pillars of civil liberties and human rights.

The following three awards will be given to recipients at the 2022 Liberty Victoria Voltaire Human Rights Awards

The Liberty Victoria Voltaire Human Rights Award
To a person or organisation for outstanding contribution to or action on civil liberties, human rights and free speech, with particular emphasis on progressing freedom, respect, equality and dignity.

The Liberty Victoria Young Voltaire Human Rights Award
To a person or organisation for outstanding contribution to or action on civil liberties, human rights and free speech, with particular emphasis on progressing freedom, respect, equality and dignity. This award will be given to a person no older than 30 on 30 July 2022.

The Liberty Victoria Voltaire Human Rights Empty Chair Award - Mehdi Ali
The Empty Chair Award will be presented in 2022 to a person who is worthy to receive the Voltaire Human Rights Award or Young Voltaire Human Rights Award, but cannot be present to receive the award due to the consequences of their exercise of or advocacy for civil liberties, human rights and free speech.

Liberty Victoria is awarding the 2022 Voltaire Empty Chair Award to Mehdi Ali, a refugee from Ahvaz, Iran who had been held in detention by Australia since 2013 including at the Park Hotel in Melbourne. He was held in detention by Australia for almost a decade, from the age 15 until he was 24. He has now been afforded protection in the United States.

Mehdi has been a powerful and tireless advocate for refugees and people seeking asylum in detention, including onshore detention.

The awards will be presented at an Awards Dinner to be held at the Sofitel Hotel Melbourne at 7pm on Friday 18 November 2022.

Bookings can be made at https://www.trybooking.com/BZQXK

We look forward to seeing you there.