Learn more about our 2022 Award winner below.
The Irish Red Cross is honoured to grant the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award to Mary Lawlor, one of Ireland’s leading advocates for human rights defenders at risk.
Mary is currently the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders for which she was appointed for a three-year term from May 2020 and to which she was reappointed earlier this month for a second three-year term. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Business and Human Rights in the School of Business of Trinity College Dublin.
A key element of Mary’s work has been her role as the founder and Executive Director (2001-2016) of Front Line Defenders which actively works to protect those who work non-violently to uphold the human rights of others as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She is also a former Director of the Irish branch of Amnesty International where she led the organisation from 1988-2000.
Throughout all of her working life the focus of Mary’s career has been the protection of human rights defenders. The inspiring and courageous work by Mary Lawlor in defending the crucial role and selfless efforts of human rights defenders at risk has never been more relevant or important. The Irish Red Cross recognises that human rights defenders are critical to the advancement of civil and just societies and for this reason we have chosen her as this year’s recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.