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IMI Executive Director Oksana Romanyuk receives Human Rights Tulip

10.12.2021, 18:47
The Embassy of the Netherlands
The Embassy of the Netherlands

Oksana Romanyuk, Executive Director of the Institute of Mass Information (IMI), won the Human Rights Tulip prize for outstanding and innovative achievements in defending human rights in Ukraine. The prize is presented annually by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ukraine on the occasion of International Human Rights Day.

Oksana Romanyuk received a symbolic sculpture and financial support for her projects in the amount of up to 300 thousand hryvnias (around $11 thousand).

“This award is special to me. Because it means that our activities to protect the rights of journalists, registration of violations, fact-checking, our work with law enforcement agencies are really very important. I would like to dedicate this award to all IMI employees who have been working all these years, sometimes even around the clock, to develop Ukraine as a European democracy. To do this, she needs quality and independent media, and this award will give us motivation and strength to move forward in this direction, " said Oksana Romanyuk.

Oksana Romanyuk is the Executive Director of the Institute of Mass Information, a member of the Supervisory Board of the National Public Television and Radio Company of Ukraine, and a member of the Commission on Journalism Ethics. The non-governmental organization, headed by Oksana Romanyuk, implements projects aimed at protecting freedom of speech, developing quality and responsible journalism in Ukraine and promoting media literacy in Ukrainian society. 

Among IMI's best-known projects is the monthly Freedom of Speech Barometer monitoring, in which IMI registers and thoroughly verify hundreds of cases of freedom of speech violations in Ukraine. These cases are then brought to the attention of law enforcement agencies and serve as the main indicator of the state of freedom of speech in Ukraine for national and international audiences. IMI lawyers provide more than 300 legal advice to journalists and the media each year. 

IMI has a network of representatives in all regions of Ukraine who hold meetings with local law enforcement agencies, register and check violations, implement campaigns and actions, and analyze the media situation. IMI is the initiator, author and co-author of many media reforms and bills. IMI also has a Security Library, where journalists traveling to the environmental zone can rent protective equipment and first aid kits free of charge. To date, IMI has published more than 30 manuals for journalists and civil society activists, covering a wide range of topics, from the specifics of journalists' professional activities to security issues. Every year, IMI conducts trainings and webinars for journalists on various aspects related to professional activities. 

Olena Shevchenko, a Ukrainian human rights activist, feminist, LGBT activist, head of the Insight public organization, and founder of the Women's March public initiative, also received the award.

The Human Rights Tulip is a Prize of Dutch government that had been initiated by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since 2008, the prize has been awarded annually to human rights defenders and human rights organizations.

In 2020, the award was given to Tetyana Pechonchyk, Chair of the ZMINA Human Rights Center, and Marta Chumalo, Deputy Chair of the Women's Perspectives Center.

In 2019, the award was given to Crimean lawyer Lilya Gemedzhi and Odessa activist Vitaliy Ustymenko. In 2018, the prize was granted to co-founder of the public organization "Available.UA" Dmitry Shchebetyuk.

Eleven international winners in previous years included human rights defenders from the Congo, India, China, Iran, Honduras, Pakistan, Mauritania, Mexico, Jordan and the Middle East.

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