ICRW President Honored with the Perdita Huston Human Rights Award

Article Date

13 December 2013

Media Contact

Anne McPherson

Vice President, Global Communications email [email protected]


The United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA) last night presented ICRW President Sarah Degnan Kambou with its annual Perdita Huston Human Rights Award for her outstanding work improving human rights around the world. The award was presented during the 2013 Human Rights Awards Reception in Washington, DC to mark the 65th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“Thank you so very much for this incredible honor. I am deeply humbled to share the Perdita Huston Award with past recipients such as Zainab Salbi, Sunitha Krishnan, Sima Samar and others – all of them such powerhouses in the fight to ensure that everyone, including women and girls, have the right to live healthy, productive lives, free of violence and full of opportunity,” said Kambou upon receiving the award at the Washington, DC event.

The UNA-NCA established the Perdita Huston Human Rights Award to celebrate Huston’s life-long commitment to improving the status of women everywhere, and to recognize the life and work of others who are outstanding advocates for women’s rights in the developing world.

“Today, as I accept this award named for such an incredible human rights advocate, I urge you to join ICRW in our effort to spotlight the potential and promise of adolescent girls  . . . many of whose basic rights are being violated on a daily basis in villages and towns and urban centers around the globe.

“Let’s stand together on the shoulders of those who came before us like Nelson Mandela and Perdita Huston – and work with those who walk alongside us – to create a world where girls have the right to choose if, when and whom to marry . . . where they don’t have to walk with fear of being raped . . . where they can decide if and when they want to have children . . . where they can go to school, have a best friend and discover who they are and who they want to be,” said Kambou.

During the ceremony, UNA-NCA also awarded Elisa Massimino, President and CEO of Human Rights First with the Louis B. Sohn Award; and a special UNA-NCA Award for the Use of Diplomacy to Advance Human Rights was presented to former Foreign Service Officer F. Allen (Tex) Harris for his extraordinary achievements in saving lives through the use of diplomacy during the Argentine military dictatorship in the 1980s.

In addition, the UNA-NCA also presented Community Human Rights Awards to several DC-area individuals who are committed to improving human rights in their communities. Community Award recipients included: Kelsey Alford-Jones, Executive Director at Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA; Caroline Jones, Executive Director at Doorways for Women and Families; and Layli Miller-Muro, Executive Director at Tahirih Justice Center.

Pictured above- from left, Ambassador Donald T. Bliss, President, UNA-NCA; Julie T. Katzman, General and Head, Multilateral Investment Fund, Inter-American Development Bank Group, and member of ICRW Board of Directors, and Sarah Degnan Kambou, ICRW President.