Prize rules 2018


Article 1 - Aims

 The Henri LA FONTAINE International Prize for Humanism is intended to honor living persons, institutions or active public or private organizations that have made a significant contribution to defending, disseminating and embodying the values held by 1913 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Henri La Fontaine, such as humanism, social justice, feminism and freedom of inquiry.

This prize bears the name of the Belgian lawyer Henri LA FONTAINE (1854-1943), a specialist in international law who used his strong pacifist beliefs to influence society. In particular, he was the president of the International Peace Bureau and participated in the early work of the Assembly of the League of Nations, which preceded the United Nations. In this same spirit of peace, he created the International Office of Bibliography with Paul Otlet in 1895. Also a Belgian Labour Party

Senator and Freemason, he agitated for universal suffrage and was an advocate for women’s rights.     1

In 1913, Henri LA FONTAINE was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

 The Henri LA FONTAINE International Prize for Humanism was set up by the Henri LA FONTAINE Foundation with the support of the Belgian French speaking and German speaking Commission for UNESCO.

Article 2 - Name, amount and periodicity of the prize

1.       The prize is called “Henri LA FONTAINE International Prize for Humanism”.

2.       The prize is funded by the Henri LA FONTAINE Foundation and is worth 10,000 euros.    The prize also includes a diploma and a piece of art.

3.       The prize is awarded every two years.

The first prize was awarded in December 2012 to Ms Daniela Camhy, representing the Austrian Center of Philosophy for Children (Austria).

In 2014, the second laureate was the organisation Cartoonists for peace founded by Mr Jean Plantu (France).

In 2016, the third and fourth laureates were Avocats sans frontières and La Maison de la Laïcité de Kinshasa.            

Article 3 – Applicable conditions/criteria for candidates

The Prize seeks to reward efforts of men, women and organisations who oppose intelligence and humanism to barbarity.

At a time when freedom of speech is increasingly being threatened and challenged, the Henri LA FONTAINE 2018 Prize will reward a personality /organization/institution that actively contributed to defending this right during the year. Freedom of speech must be understood in a broad sense : political, artistic, literary, scientific, philosophical or religious. The digital freedom of expression (conception, diffusion …) is also a theme that can be retained.

Candidates should stand out for having performed a commendable and recognized action in the spirit of the life of Henri LA FONTAINE.

The Prize may be awarded to a person or an organization.

Article 4 - Designation/choice of recipient(s)

The winner is appointed by the Henri LA FONTAINE Foundation according to the decision of an international jury.

Article 5 - Jury

1. The jury is composed of the members of the Board of Directors of the Henri LA FONTAINE Foundation, chaired by an international personality chosen by the Foundation. The jurors are not paid, but can claim a travel and accommodation allowance if applicable. There must be a quorum of three people for the jury to begin deliberations. The working language of the jury is French.

2. The jury will conduct its work and deliberations in accordance with these rules. Decisions will be taken by consensus as far as possible, and otherwise by secret ballot until a simple majority emerges.

3. The jury will meet in the three months following the deadline for applications.

4. The jury will produce a record of the evaluation of applications accompanied by recommendations.

This record will be sent to the Henri LA FONTAINE Foundation.

Article 6 - Submission of nominations

1. The Henri LA FONTAINE Foundation will officially invite non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations active in a relevant field, UNESCO national commissions, qualified persons, and all civil society partners working within the framework of humanist thought and culture in the world to submit nominations of an individual or organization to the Prize Secretariat by 15th  June 2018 at the latest.

2. No one may nominate himself/herself.

3. Each nomination must be accompanied by a file properly justifying the nomination according to the aims and objectives as defined in article 1 of these rules.

The file must be sent to the secretariat of the Foundation both in paper and electronic versions (max 2 Mo) no later than the 15th June 2018.

 Address for paper version :

Henri LA FONTAINE Foundation
M. Daniel Sotiaux, Chairman
C/O MUNDANEUM                                                                                                                                                                      
Rue des Passages, 15
B-7000 MONS – Belgium

In particular, each nomination must be accompanied by:

• a written recommendation not exceeding five standard pages and including precise reasoning in English or French regarding the relevance of the nomination in relation to the objectives of the Prize. Any additional documents can be attached hereto (publications, any other document of major importance). These documents will not be returned to the nominators;

• a description of the profile and the achievements of the candidate;

• a letter from the candidate or a responsible authority acting on behalf of an institution giving agreement to the submission of the nomination (any nominations not including this letter will be considered non-admissible by the Prize Secretariat) - the information sheet, duly filled in and signed, which is attached to the Prize Rules.

Article 7 – Methods for awarding the prize

1. The prize will be presented by the Henri LA FONTAINE Foundation at an official ceremony in Mons, or at any other place proposed by the Foundation, on International Human Rights Day. The Foundation will present the winner with a cheque for the amount of the Prize along with a diploma and a sculpture created for the prize by an internationally renowned artist.

2. If possible, the winner will make a presentation on the work for which he/she has won the prize. This presentation will take place at the prize-giving ceremony or in connection with it. This presentation may be published by the Henri LA FONTAINE Foundation.

3. Work carried out by a person who is now deceased will not be considered for the prize. However, in case of the death of the winner before the Prize is awarded, it may be awarded posthumously.

Article 8 – Appeal

There is no right of appeal against the decision of the Henri LA FONTAINE Foundation regarding the awarding of the prize. Nominations for the Prize are not disclosed.

Article 9 - Amendments to the Statutes of the prize

Any amendment to these Rules must be submitted to the Henri LA FONTAINE Foundation for approval.