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The Laureate 2019

David Miliband and the International Rescue Committee to receive 2019 Stockholm Human Rights Award

The 2019 recipient of the 11th Stockholm Human Rights Awardhas been announced today as David Miliband and the humanitarian aid body that he heads, the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

David Miliband. Photo: Getty for IRC.Thomas Buergenthal

The Award will be presented on 4 November 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden, in the presence of an international audience of esteemed diplomats, legal experts and non-governmental organisations.

Given to an individual and/or organisation for outstanding contributions to human rights and the rule of law, the Award is bestowed annually by the Swedish Bar Association, the International Bar Association (IBA) and the International Legal Assistance Consortium.

As the child of Jewish refugees who fled to the United Kingdom in the aftermath of World War II, Mr Miliband has a personal interest in supporting those who are displaced by crisis. As President and Chief Executive Officer of the IRC, he oversees relief operations in more than 40 war-affected countries and refugee resettlement programmes across 28 cities in the United States of America.

In 2018, the IRC and its international partners assisted 2,175 children and parents seeking asylum in the USA and resettled 5,374 refugees and Special Immigrant Visa recipients across 25 cities. In addition to its ongoing work in the USA, the IRC provides clean water, shelter, health care and education to people in conflict-stricken countries including Myanmar, Syria and Yemen. The IRC has a rich history dating back to the early 20th century, when, in addition to initiating emergency relief programmes at the end of World War II, it founded hospitals and children’s centres.

Described by former US President Bill Clinton as ‘one of the most creative public servants of our time’, Mr Miliband has dedicated his career to improving access to justice and upholding the rule of law. After graduating from the University of Oxford in 1987 with a First Class Honours degree in philosophy, politics and economics, Mr Miliband attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a Kennedy Scholar to study political science. His commitment to public service was cemented when he joined the UK government as Member of Parliament for South Shields in 2001, a role he held for 12 years. In 2006, Mr Miliband was appointed Environment Secretary. In this post, he was responsible for developing British policy on climate change, and elevated the issue to priority status for policymakers. From 2007 until 2010, he served as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, a position he used to highlight and condemn human rights atrocities across the world. In 2013, he resigned his parliamentary seat to head the IRC.