Current Human Rights Essay Competitions


The Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART) Prize for Human Rights

HART is a London-based organization dedicated to the fight for human rights in eight specific countries, including Burma, India, and Nigeria. Their essay competition is split into two categories – junior (13-17 years) and senior (18-25 years). Both categories are required to write an essay (800 words and 1200 words, respectively) on issues of politics or human rights in one or more of the countries that HART operates in. The winners of the junior category will receive a £50 Amazon gift card, a signed copy of This Immoral Trade: Slavery in the 21st Century, an invitation to take tea with the book’s author, and the opportunity to work for a day in HART’s headquarters. The senior prize is even more illustrious. The winner can choose between a £500 cash prize or a humanitarian trip to Agorno-Karabakh. All winners will be invited to London for the awards ceremony. The deadline for essay submissions is February 26.

2016 Tax Justice and Human Rights Essay Competition

Something that many may not realize falls under the topic of human rights issues is the problem of tax-dodging by large corporations. In the pursuit of burgeoning profits, many wealthy businesses seek out ‘tax havens,’ and other workarounds, through corrupt means. By not paying the appropriate amount of tax they sap away vital funds from the very communities they work from. Oxfam thus seeks 3,500 word essays from students and practitioners of Law regarding this practice, including suggestions for methods of protection affected areas could employ. Winners will be flown to London to participate in a research workshop held by Oxfam, as well as receive signed books on the topic, and have their work displayed on Oxfam’s media platforms. Submissions must be received by March 13.

Ignacio Martín-Baró Human Rights Essay Competition

Hosted by the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights (within the University of Chicago), this competition is a must for UChicago students with a passion for civil advocacy. Participants are asked to submit a paper between 6,250 and 10,000 words (depending on their level of study) on any issue of human rights they feel compelled to explore. Awards will be given for each level of study – Undergraduate, Masters, and Doctorate. The best essays in each category will receive $500. Though applicants must be enrolled in the University of Chicago, they may hail from any department within the school. The call for 2016 submissions will begin in Spring.

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