Walden Bello, visiting researcher from the Philippines, has been named Amnesty International Philippines’ Most Distinguished Human Rights Defender. The prestigious award, known as the Ignite Award, is the first-ever human rights award in the country.
According to Amnesty International, the Ignite Award, launched in 2017, “aims to recognize human rights defenders who brought about impact by changing people’s lives, policies, activism, accountability through their human rights work. Ignite Awards also serves as a tool in transforming the perception of Filipinos on human rights by showing that even ordinary people can do human rights extraordinary work.”
Walden follows in the footsteps of the imprisoned former senator Leila de Lima, who was first Ignite Awardee in 2018. In his acceptance speech, he called for the release of de Lima, whose most recent effort to obtain bail was unsuccessful.
He also said “While I have long been active in the protection of the right to life, the right to be free from persecution, and the right to due process, I would like to believe the panel of judges are also making a statement about my long-time engagement with economic rights. Most of my life’s work has been devoted to intellectually and politically demolishing the ideology and policies of neoliberalism that have wreaked so much havoc not only among our people but in countries throughout the world.”
Walden Bello is a Visiting Research Scholar of CSEAS
from December 2022 – June 2023
Walden Bello, Center Law Named Amnesty Philippines Ignite Awardees – Amnesty Philippines Press Release (28 May 2023)
Ignite Awards Recipients − Amnesty Philippines
Rappler columnist Walden Bello, Center Law receive Ignite Awards for Human Rights – Rappler.com (5 June 2023)