The award was established in 1996 to recognize individuals in Boulder County who have contributed substantially during the previous year or over a longer period of time to making the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights a living, vital, and effective document. This 1948 declaration identifies such human rights as the right to life, liberty, and security of person, the right to privacy and freedom of movement, the right to an education, and the right to an adequate standard of living, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care. If you know someone who should be recognized for their international contributions to human rights, you are encouraged to make a nomination.

The recipient of the International Human Rights Award will be honored with a reception near the date of Human Rights Day, which falls on December 10. All nominators and nominees, their friends and family are welcome to attend. The recipient and the time and place of the award ceremony will be announced by 30 November.

Please help us honor a Boulder County humanitarian with a nomination for this award. We look forward to your submission. Each year beginning in 1996, our Chapter has recognized a Boulder County resident for outstanding service in promoting, advancing or educating the public about the international protection of human rights. Inspired by the creation of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the award was first conferred in 1996. Recipients speak at a reception in their honor which is held on (or near) December 10th, Human Rights Day.

Past Recipients of the Award

2020 Veronica Hrutkay

UNA Boulder County announces that the recipient of the 2019 International Human Rights Award is Veronica Hrutkay. Veronica is recognized for her service to the UN Association through her work with the Boulder County chapter and as Regional Representative to UNA-USA, and most importantly her tireless leadership in the Cities for CEDAW campaign. 

Veronica will be honored at a reception on January 21, 2020 from 5-7 p.m. in the community room of OptTek Systems, 2241 17th Street in Boulder. This event is open to the public.

2019 Tinbet Tinstman and Kathy Stutzman


2017 Nikhil Mankekar

Member of the city of Boulder’s Human Rights Commission.

2016 Jan Arney

Founder, in 2010, and Executive Director of Partners in Parenting Haiti, a model foster care program for orphaned children in Jeremie, Haiti.

2015 Kathryn Louise Meyer

Active in Zonta International through Zonta Foothills Club on behalf UN programs including Sustainable Development Goals and CEDAW (Convention to Eliminate Discrimination Against Women).

2014  Paula Palmer

Since the 1960s she has helped Indigenous communities throughout the world record their histories, defend their rights, and prevent environmental destruction. She facilitates a workshop titled Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change: Toward Right Relationship with America’s Native Peoples.

2013  Bay Roberts and Patty Gilbert

Founders of One School at a Time, they raise funds for schools and children in Uganda.

2012  Sally and Darryl Brown

Founders of the Boulder-Kisumu Sister City Committee, the Browns raise funds and help complete sanitation and clean-water systems in slum-area schools in Kisumu, Kenya, where they are also building a sustainable poultry project for widows.

2011 Doctors Christine and David Hibbard

In 2005, the Hibbards founded the Kisiizi Malaria and Health Care Project at the Kisiizi Hospital in a remote part of Uganda. As a psychotherapist and trauma counselor, Christine helped men, women, and children in Kosovo survive the grief and devastation of genocide,and she has used her conflict resolution skills in Israel.

2010 Ellen Marshall

During a lifetime of work in legislative and policy roles, and now with the Good Works Group, an affiliate of the UN Foundation, Ellen has been a major player in promoting the rights of women worldwide.

2009 Torkin Wakefield

Founded BeadforLife®: Eradicating Poverty One Bead at a Time, an international non-profit that works with women in Uganda, Europe, and North America.

2008 Dr. Bernard Amadei

Founded Engineers Without Borders which supports community-driven programs of sustainable development worldwide.

2007 Carl Tinstman    

Helped direct a joint UNICEF and WHO program of polio eradication that has nearly wiped out the disease world wide.

2006 Eric Glustrom    

In 2002, at age 17, created Educate!, a foundation that raises money to keep refugees and other poor students in school in Uganda.

2005 Dr. Richard Cross 

Since 1995, leads eye health teams to Jamaica. Treated more than 200 cases of severe eye disease in first ten years.

2004 Julia Shaw  

Creator and Executive Director, Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights.

2003 Jean Gore   

Past national president and long-time leader, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

2002 Le Roy Moore   

Helped train Russians for environmental and human rights protection work, during the last years of the Soviet Union and the first years of the new Russia.

2001 Richard Kraft 

Led a campaign to help fund orphanages in some of Africa’s poorest countries.

2000 Inge Sargent    

President of Burma Lifeline, a charity devoted to helping Burmese refugees survive in countries bordering Burma.

1999 Roy Young 

Created and funded three foundations to help third-world countries protect environmental rights.

1998 Bill Cohen 

Led an effort to get hundreds of Russians, many of them Jews, out of the Soviet Union and resettled in the Boulder-Denver area.

1997 Bruce Montgomery   

Norlin Library Archivist — amassed the largest academic repository of international human rights abuse materials in the country.

1996 Ellen Moore

Co-Director, Amnesty International’s Urgent Action Network.