• The Dutch government (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) awards an annual Human Rights Tulip prize, worth €100,000, to “courageous organisations or individuals that promote human rights in innovative ways.” This year, two Israeli NGOs, B’Tselem and Adalah, have been nominated.
  • These Israeli NGOs have massive budgets (NIS 9.5 million and NIS 5 million, respectively) and are well-connected to influential decision makers in government and media. The prize money, while not insignificant, would be a fraction of their annual spending on political advocacy. In sharp contrast, most of the other nominees are relatively obscure internationally and do not possess the same resources; €100,000 would make a big difference.
  • Both B’Tselem and Adalah already receive significant funding from the Dutch government (see table below), and have so received for many years, as do a number of the other 28 nominees. It is unknown whether Dutch officials involved with repeatedly awarding funds to these two Israeli political advocacy NGOs were involved in the nomination process or will be involved in determining the winner.
  • Three of the six finalists will be selected via internet voting, a notoriously unreliable process easily subjected to manipulation. Furthermore, online popularity is more of a reflection of an NGO’s power and large budget — precisely factors that should weigh against awarding additional funds to a group.
  • B’Tselem and Adalah used social media, as well as emails to supporters, in attempt to solicit votes. A Hebrew-language Facebook post by B’Tselem opened, “Foreign funding to end the occupation? Definitely!” While initially successful for 12 hours, these campaigns backfired, however, with many Israelis responding to calls on social media to vote for other candidates.
NomineeCountryArea of ActivityTotal BudgetGovernment FundingDutch Funding
Phyoe Phyoe Aung (Individual, not affiliated with an NGO)BurmaFreedom of Education, Student Activist Currently in PrisonN/A N/AN/A
B'TselemIsraelHuman rights, main goals are political -- to "voice dissent" to Israeli policies, in particular Israel's presence in the West Bank and defensive military operations in Gaza.9.5 Million NIS in 20136,426,806 NIS (known amounts for 2014-16)IHL Secretariat: 447,517 NIS (2014); $710,000 2014-16 via IHL Secretariat
Maziar Bahari (Founder of Journalism for Change)IranFreedom for JournalistsLists Lady Dr. Frances D’Souza, member of the House of Lords, as "one of the main contributors of the Charity Box"UnknownUnknown
Azizullah Royesh (Founder of Marefat High School and Marefat Civil Capacity Building Organization)AfghanistanEducationUnknownUnknownUnknown
AdalahIsraelHuman Rights/Law5 million NIS in 20132,444,494 NIS (known amounts for 2014-2015)$190,000 2014-16 via IHL Secretariat + 230,644 NIS in 2015 via Oxfam NOVIB
PeaceNiche / The Second FloorPakistanHuman RightsUnknownUnknown100000
Under The Same SunTanzania / Registerd in Canada as "UTSS Charities International"Albinism Rights104091NoneNone
Thai Lawyers for Human RightsThailandCivil RightsMore research neededEuropean Union, USA (NED)Unknown
Scholars at Risk NetworkNY/ USAAcademic FreedomMore research neededNoneNone
Hadi Ghaemi (Affiliated with International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran)US / IranHuman Rights in IranUnknownUnknownUnknown
Physicians for Human RightsInternationalImpunity in Conflicts$7.6 million (2014)Netherlands, US, UK, Sigrid Rausing Trust (UK), Switzerland, UN Trust to End Violence Against Women, UN Voluntary Fund, Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundation, Tides Faundation.Yes- Amount Unknown
SIPAZMexicoHuman Rights$97,973 (2013)NoneNone
Adilur Rahman Khan (Founder of Odhikar)BangladeshHuman Rights$102,844 (2008)$41,000 (2008)Unknown
AireanaParaguayLGBT RightsUnknownUnknownUnknown
GENDERDOC-MMoldovaLGBT RightsEuro 143,847 + $95,192 + MDL 69,572Euro 66,198 + MDL 69,572 (2014)None
Accountability LabUSAHuman Rights$42,094 in 2012NoneNone
Massouda Jalal (Individual, not affiliated with an NGO)AfghanistanWomen's RightsN/AN/AN/A
Emin Milli (Founder of Meydan TV)AzerbaijanHuman RightsUnknownUnknownUnknown
International Bridges to JusticeInternationalEnsuring Access to Justice for Those in Poverty$2,387,896 (2013)727796Unknown
Fundación AccesoCentral AmericaHuman RightsUnknownUnknownUnknown
Civic Assistance CommitteeRussiaRefugeesUnknownEU, Switzerland, Norway, Holland, France via CCFDUnknown
Martin Macwan (Founder of Navsarja)IndiaCaste Discrimination$1,238,521 (2009) to Navsarja Misereor, Christian aid, Cordaidvia Cordaid
Bandhu Social Welfare SocietyBangladeshLGBT Rights~$1.8 million$1,790,847 (listed as foreign donations)The Netherlands listed on "current and past donors" webpage
Farah Abdullahi (Individual, not affiliated with an NGO)MaltaRefugee CrisisN/AN/AN/A
The NEST CollectiveKenyaLGBT480,000 Euro (2012-2015); 150,000 Euro (2014-2016)NoneNone
The United GroupEgyptRule of Law/Torture~$333,000 (2010)AusAid, USAidUnknown
PromundoInternational- (Brazil)Gender Equality$1,207,945 in 2014$1,139,337 in 2014
BreakthroughUnited States/IndiaCultural and Human Rights2881824$845,627 in 2014$100,000+ in 2014
Palestinian Center for C&D StrategiesPalestinian AuthorityWomen's Rights and Human RightsUnknownUNDPNone