Nurse Rosemarie Trajano has become the first Filipino to receive the prestigious Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law.
Trajano, who is also secretary-general of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates, has been recognized this year for her outstanding work in defending and protecting human rights in the Philippines, Manila Bulletin reported.
Last week, she was presented with the award by Gordon Kricke, ambassador of Germany, and Nicholas Galey, ambassador of France.
In her acceptance speech, Trajano stressed that human rights defenders in the Philippines were under growing pressure from President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.
“Human rights defenders are in great peril, not only from physical harm but also from psychological stress from social media trolls and fanatics of the Duterte administration,” she said.
Before giving the award to Trajano, Galey noted that being a human rights defender in the Philippines can be difficult and dangerous. He thanked her for her courageous work and said her sacrifices would inspire others.
In an interview last year, Trajano said the government had threatened to kill human rights defenders if the drug problem in the Philippines deteriorated.
But she felt it was her duty to continue fighting for justice regardless of the dangers. “Human rights are not given freely. We cannot stop fighting,” she said.