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Conditions for Nominees and Nominating

Anyone can nominate. Nominees can be individual persons and organisations. Nominated organisations must be registered in Bulgaria.

Permanent employees and associates of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC) and members of the jury cannot be nominated. Permanent employees and associates of BHC may nominate.

Persons or organisations are to be nominated based on specific actions and work in defense of human rights that they have engaged in during the period November 2015 – October 2016. Actions or practices are eligible for nomination if they have been useful to people residing in Bulgaria, regardless of their nationality.

At the same time, the overall activity of the nominee person/organisation must not be in conflict with the spirit of the awards. E.g. we will not allow nominations of people who defend children’s rights, but are homophobic; or defend the LGBT community but are biased against people with mental health disabilities.


The jury’s definition of activities in the defense of human rights is the following: “activities directed at the strengthening and defense of human rights, observing human dignity as an absolute value and guided by justice.”

The activity or practice must meet the criteria outlined below. These are the criteria used by the jury to determine admissibility of nominations and eventually to select the winners of the Awards. These criteria are alternative – candidates need not meet all of them.

  • To be a precedent in the sphere of human rights;
  • To demonstrate significant potential for unification and growth of society;
  • To inspire and lead to action;
  • To demonstrate valour and courage on the professional and civil level;
  • To be innovative and original.

Nominations of individuals or organisations defending other values comparable to human rights and corresponding to the spirit of the Awards are also admissible, e.g. environmental protection or defense of animal rights.

Non-discrimination policy

In assessing the admissibility and merits of the nominations the jury observes the following rules:

1) Refrain from any preference or neglect based on irrelevant features such as gender, age, ethnicity/ race, sexual orientation, health status and ability, religious and other beliefs, as well as

2) Refrain from the use of other, seemingly neutral criteria (such as, for example, the duration of the activity) that may disproportionately put at disadvantage groups defined by protected grounds, when such use is not strictly necessary.

The jury takes into account protected grounds only if they are relevant to the selection criteria and evaluation, i.e. if they give the nomination additional weight on one or more of these criteria (e.g., an individual from a vulnerable group exhibits courage, which appears particularly strong in the context of the vulnerability and the burden they are under; or religious organisation advocates in support of a sexual minority, which makes the act a particular precedent and/ or has strong potential for social unity, etc..). The jury does not seek to achieve representativeness of the Awards in terms of protected grounds. In the process of collecting nominations however BHC welcomes nominations from all communities to ensure maximum representation of such candidates. Assessing the eligibility of nominees and their classification, however, is subject only to the value criteria listed above.

Nominees From Past Years

Examples of motives for nomination:

  • Advocates for children’s rights in Bulgaria
  • Activist for the rights of women and LGBTI people
  • Defends freedom of expression of the public / media
  • Works for judicial independence
  • Devotes time and labor to environmental and animal rights
  • Works to protect the rights of ethnic minorities in Bulgaria

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