In November 2013, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign an association agreement between the Ukraine and the European Union. This triggered dramatic events: Ukrainians protested on the central Maidan square in Kyiv, which left more than 100 people dead and ousted him and his government in February 2014. Following an internationally criticized referendum, the Ukrainian peninsula Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation in March. Political turmoil continued and protests in Donetsk and Luhansk regions escalated into an armed conflict between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian military. Many people died. The EU and the US imposed economic sanctions on Russia. And in July, a Malaysia Airlines passenger flight was shot down over the conflict zone in Eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.
In Cameroun, homosexuals are persecuted, discriminated against and incarcerated. Legal attorney Alice Nkom has founded a non-governmental organization that campaigns for the rights of this victimized minority, with the goal of putting an end to what she calls "anti-homosexual apartheid".
Nearly a third of all humanity is undernourished. Monkombu Swaminathan is fighting to change that. He cultivates nutrient-rich plants with the aim of not only feeding the Indian population, but also improving their health.
We know them for their gaudy facemasks, their miniskirts, their blaring guitars and their screamed vocals: Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina. On 21 February 2012, these two women suddenly attained world renown. As activists from the feminist punk band "Pussy Riot", they demonstrated against Russia's President Vladimir Putin with their "Punk Prayer" in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The performance lasted just 41 seconds – their resulting prison sentence almost two years.
Lesya Orobets is not happy about things in Ukraine. But she plans to do something about it. At just 32, she is currently the youngest member of the Ukrainian parliament. Now she hopes to become mayor of Kyiv. If successful, she would become not just the youngest person ever to hold the position, but also the first woman.
Bettina Frevert, Roland Berger Stiftung · 05.02.2014
Marguerite Barankitse established Maison Shalom in 1993, amidst armed conflict and massacres in Burundi. She has since taken in and educated 20.000 children who lost their parents to war and AIDS, but continues to fight for lasting peace in the country, reconciliation and a better future.
Bettina Frevert, Roland Berger Stiftung · 25.01.2014
The leader of an indigenous community in the Amazonian state Acre, Brazil, has decided to defend their land against outside exploitation. He seeks to increase the capacity and ability of the indigenous people to defend themselves and their rights against intruders, and teaches them land management techniques and how to preserve the rich ecosystem of the rainforest.
Bettina Frevert, Roland Berger Stiftung · 18.12.2013
The Anglican Assistant Bishop David Zac Niringiye retired from the pulpit seven years ago in order to fight for social justice in Uganda. He is an outspoken clergyman, who supports several different campaigns and initiatives in his home country.
Online voting for the Roland Berger Human Dignity Award 2014 has closed. Thank you for your nominations and votes. The candidates with the most votes from the online voting are Mr. Akhand (29,180 votes) followed by Ms. Sunita Danuwar (25,984 votes).
Time's running out! Up to December 10, 2013, you can nominate or vote online for candidates for the Roland Berger Human Dignity Award 2014. We are delighted that over 60,000 people have already cast their votes!