Launched in 2012, the Allard Prize for International Integrity is one of the world's largest prizes dedicated to the fight against corruption and the protection of human rights (CAD $100,000). The Allard Prize is awarded biennially to an individual, movement, or organization that has demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in combating corruption or protecting human rights, especially through promoting transparency, accountability, and the Rule of Law. Nominations are ongoing and open to the public.
In 2017, three finalists for the Allard Prize for International Integrity were selected following a comprehensive review of 244 nominations received from 70 countries. Nominees included prominent world leaders, academics, grass roots activists, journalists, social movements and organizations. The Allard Prize Committee is pleased to recognize the work of two outstanding individuals and one prosecution task force.
At a ceremony held on September 28, 2017 at the University of British Columbia, one of the anti-corruption movement’s most inspiring leaders, Khadija Ismayilova, was announced as the recipient of the CAD $100,000 Allard Prize. Khadija is an investigative journalist known for challenging corruption and misuse of power at the highest levels of government and for inspiring a new age of political activism in Azerbaijan where media is strictly controlled.
The ceremony also honoured two other finalists, Azza Soliman and Brazil's Car Wash Task Force (Força Tarefa da Lava Jato). As a prominent women's rights lawyer and co-founder of the Center for Egyptian Women's Legal Assistance (CEWLA), Azza has dedicated her life to fighting corruption and injustice faced by Egyptian women in both the private sphere and the judicial system. The Car Wash Task Force is a Brazilian prosecution task force that has been responsible for recovering billions of dollars in bribes and investigating and securing criminal convictions against corrupt political and corporate elites.
Peter A. Allard, Q.C., Founder of the Allard Prize for International Integrity, spoke at the Allard Prize Ceremony, along with Glenn Greenwald, who broke the story of U.S. whistleblower, Edward Snowden, and co-founded The Intercept. In addition, the winner, Khadija Ismayilova's representative, Kenan Aliyev, Azza Soliman's representative, Iman Mandour, and members of the Car Wash Task Force addressed the audience. Both Khadija and Azza were unable to attend the Ceremony due to travel bans installed by their respective governments.
Speaking at the 2017 Allard Prize ceremony, Mr. Allard stated, "Those at the top must be held to the same accountability as the average citizen; otherwise democracy cannot resurrect itself and flourish."
Originally published on the Allard Prize for International Integrity website.