Theresa Kachindamoto
In Malawi, she banned the marriage camps in her region, and convinced the chiefs of fifty tribes to abandon traditions that encouraged early marriage. In 2015 she dismissed four regional tribal chiefs who continued the practice of child marriage despite the change of national law on the issue, and forbade their return to duty until they agreed to obey the law. She continued her work, speaking with various NGOs as well as meeting one-on-one with members of her tribe, mothers, teachers and religious leaders. She has successfully had early marriage prohibited in the country?s family law. Thus far she has 850 child marriages annulled, allowing child brides and husbands to continue their educations. This woman tribal chief working for children?s human and educational rights is also striving to overcome the economic difficulties that lead to early marriages. She is having a fund created to pay the tuition for daughters of poor families, and encouraging efforts to strengthen children?s bonds to school life.
Diyarbakir Bar Association
Established in Diyarbakir in 1927, and in the last thirty years in particular, it has emerged as one of the region?s most important civil society organizations. Between 1988 and 2002, it conducted work to collect information on cases of evacuation and burning of villages, torture, unsolved killings and forced disappearances, and enter them into a data base; and support families who were victims of violence by security forces and lawyers working on such cases. It raised awareness, drawing attention to the fact that many perpetrators and others responsible for these violations had gone unpunished. With its impartiality, its sensitivity to human rights issues, its opposition to all manner of violence no matter who employs it or for what reason, it stands as a role model in the region. At every opportunity, it underscores the supremacy of law and seeks the preservation of the principle of impartiality. It struggles for the efficient investigation of human rights violations, and fights determinedly to prevent cases being time-barred and the guilty going unpunished.
Atom Egoyan
Film director, writer, and producer. Exploring themes of 'alienation' and 'isolation' in his 16 feature-length films and TV programmes, he won many awards such as Cannes Film Festival and Genie Awards. His films have been presented in numerous retrospectives across the world, including a complete career overview at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, followed by similar events at the Filmoteca Espagnol in Madrid and the Museum of The Moving Image in New York. Egoyan is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Directors Guild of America, the Directors Guild of Canada, the Writers Guild of America, the Writers Guild of Canada, and the Royal Canadian Academy of Art. He is a Companion of the Order of Canada, and honoured with the 2015 Governor General's Performing Arts Award.