The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) is honoured to announce that the winner of the 2022 Sir Ronald Wilson Human Rights Award is the CRPH/NUG Support Group (Australia).
The CRPH/NUG Support Group (Australia) is part of the global movement to advocate for democracy in Myanmar, after the February 2021 military coup that toppled the country’s democratically-elected government. It consolidates the voice of the Myanmarese diaspora in Australia, and supports the Myanmarese people’s desire for democracy, human rights and equality to be restored in Myanmar.
The Support Group works to further the aims of the the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) and the National Unity Government (NUG) of Myanmar, which are essentially serving as a proxy for the former rulers of Myanmar, the democratically-elected government led by the National League for Democracy and headed by Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint.
The group fundraises, lobbies the Australian government, and liaises with and between government bodies, Myanmar ethnic groups, and the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) and the National Unity Government (NUG) of Myanmar, the two main groups that work to resist the military dictatorship and keep the flame of democracy alive.
Presenting the award, President of ACFID, Susan Pascoe AM, said:
“The work that the CRPH/NUG Support Group is doing in Australia is maintaining the heart and soul of the Myanmarese community. Through suffering, trauma and displacement, this Support Group is an embodiment of the strength of the Myanmarese diaspora and their commitment to their homeland.”
Upon receiving the award, Ko Saulsman, spokesperson for the CPRH/NUG Support Group, said:
“This is a significant milestone for the Support Group’s journey contributing to the Myanmar people’s hope and expectation for the restoration of democracy and human rights in Myanmar. In addition, the award is a very important recognition of the Myanmar diaspora in Australia for their solidarity, unity, dedication, and commitment.
“Receiving the award makes the Support Group’s voice stronger and louder and reaches a larger audience than before. It will also help to enhance the group’s activities to achieve its vision. People in Myanmar are struggling under the brutal military, and the stronger actions of the Support Group with this award recognise their courage, strength, and ongoing efforts to achieve basic human rights. This is the message to the other communities in Australia that no matter where you come from, unity, courage and strength will hear loud voices for the rights of humanity.
“Thanks to ACFID, IDPs, Amnesty International Australia and all NGOs who support Myanmar community activities in Australia and around the world. This award is dedicated to all people from Myanmar, Kachin, Karen, Karenni, Chin, Shan, Mon and all ethnic brothers and sisters who are still sacrificing their lives to end dictatorship and restore democracy and human rights in Myanmar.”
Established in May 2021, the group has worked with its 73 member organisations and the Myanmarese community across Australia including youth and ethnic councils. It regularly informs politicians and media in Australia by publishing open letters, media releases, and statements about human rights violations, war crimes, and crimes against humanity committed by the ruling military junta, and highlights Australia’s role in resolving the conflict in Myanmar.
About the Award
The Sir Ronald Wilson Human Rights Award is presented annually to an individual or organisation that has made an outstanding contribution to advancing human rights.
Following Sir Ronald Wilson’s death in 2002, the ACFID award was created in his honour.
Sir Ronald was a passionate campaigner for human rights, conducting the landmark Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families, which resulted in the 1997 ‘Bringing them Home’ report.
Sir Ron Wilson AC KBE CMG QC served as a judge on the High Court of Australia, President of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission until 1997 and was President of ACFID between 1998 and 2001.
Past recipients include, Indonesian lawyer and human rights defender, the Women’s League of Burman (2021), Veronica Koman (2019) Behrouz Boochani (2018), The Referendum Council (2017) and former President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs (2016).