The prize, commonly referred to as the 'alternative Nobel Prize,' is awarded to four individuals for defying war and opposition, yet doing successful work in their home countries.
"It was amazing this year to see that even from the most troubled regions we had people who are keeping up amazing professional and even successful work against all odds, so that I think is what made the jury decide on these four. Specifically the combination of the fact that their work really changes things in their home countries," Ole von Uexkull, CEO of the Right Livelihood Foundation, told Radio Sweden.
"This year's Right Livelihood Award Laureates confront some of the most pressing global issues head-on - be it war, freedom of speech, women's rights or the plight of migrants. With the 2016 award, we do not only celebrate their courage, compassion and commitment; we also celebrate the success of their work, against all odds, and the real difference they are making in the world today," Ole von Uexkull, CEO of the Right Livelihood Foundation, commented.
The human rights activists Mozn Hassan from Egypt and Svetlana Gannushkina from Russia are awarded the prize for the organisations they have created in their respective country. Hassan works at Nazra for Feminist Studies, a group working for women's rights in Egypt. Gannushkina is awarded the prize for her commitment to promoting human rights and justice for refugees and forced migrants.
The third laureate this year is the Syria Civil Defence organisation, also known as The White Helmets. The organisation, consisting of 3000 volunteers, has saved more than 60,000 people from collapsed buildings following bombings in the Syrian civil war.
Cumhuriyet, a Turkish independent newspaper, is the fourth laureate. It receives the award on account of its 'fearless investigative journalism and commitment to freedom.'
The Right Livelihood Awarded was founded in 1980 and is usually awarded to four laureates per year. The prize money is given to on-going work, never for personal use.