Cambodian lobbyist can be awarded Swedish prize

Cambodian Tola Moeun, who has lobbied against unfair wages in H&M’s factories, is shortlisted for a Swedish lobbying award. The award was founded by the NGO We Effect, and the former Prime Minister of Sweden, Ingvar Carlsson, and the former Archbishop of the Church of Sweden, KG Hammar are among the members of the jury. 

– Tola Moeun has made an important contribution and Sweden has a responsibility to stand up for fair working conditions in the countries which produce the goods we consume, says Ingvar Carlsson. Tola Moeun is one of six candidates who have been selected by the jury for the award ‘Lobbyist for Change 2017′ among nominees from all over the world.

The award was founded by We Effect, an NGO in development aid, and consists of a prize sum of USD 10,000. The award winner will be invited to Stockholm to present his or her work and meet the Swedish media.
– Lobbying is an important tool in the fight to reduce poverty and strengthen human rights. There is an enormous power in the work of these candidates to change laws and working conditions. The Lobbyist for Change award is a way to highlight this, says Anneli Rogeman, CEO of We Effect and chair of the jury.

Last year the prize was awarded to 25-year-old Rachael Mwikali Mueni who fights for young women’s rights in Kenyan slum areas together with the organisation Coalition for Grassroots Human Rights Defenders.
– We have received publicity for the work we perform in our societies. I’ve realised that people around the world appreciate what we do. I’m so proud and happy, says Rachael Mwikali Mueni.

Nominations for the award can be submitted by civil society organisations throughout the world. The shortlist for the selection of the winner includes lobbyists from El Salvador, Guatemala, Cambodia and Kenya.
The jury’s decision as to the winner of ‘Lobbyist for Change 2017′ will be announced in October.

Shortlisted candidates for Lobbyist for Change 2017:

Tola Moeun, Cambodia 
Tola Moeun has been active lobbying H&M to reach agreements on better conditions and fair wages in Cambodian factories. Tola Moeun is the director of the Cambodian organization Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights (CENTRAL).

Wendy Lisseth Morales Gálvez, El Salvador
24 year old Wendy Lisseth Morales Gálvez has spoken out about the arbitrary criminalisation of youths in El Salvador, where 70 percent of inmates are between 18 and 35 years old. She is the front figure of a movement that continues to expose cases of institutional injustice.

Abel Lara, El Salvador
Abel Lara has worked with the Confederation of Federations of the Agrarian Reform in El Salvador (CONFRAS) for amendments to a law on pesticides that prohibits 53 toxic agrochemicals in El Salvador. The new law has saved thousands of lives since 2013.

José Pilar Álvarez Cabrera, Guatemala 
José Pilar Álvarez Cabrera is a pastor of the Lutheran Church of Guatemala and a defender of the rights of the indigenous population who live around the mountain Las Granadillas. He has been arrested, received death threats and been kept in house arrest, as an attempt to intimidate him.

Lorenzo Pérez Mendoza, Guatemala
Lorenzo Pérez Mendoza is a human rights activist who is active in the National Council of Displaced Persons in Guatemala (CONDEG). He has lobbied for the rights to land of the indigenous q’eqchí people and attained a handover of army land to the q’eqchí.

Raphael Obonyo, Kenya
Raphael Obonyo is an advocate for the rights of children and youths in the informal settlements of Kenya. He has written a book about the issue and is an external advisor on the UN Habitat’s Youth Advisory Board.

The jury for Lobbyist for Change 2017:


Ingvar Carlsson, former Prime Minister of Sweden
Maria Teresa Fernández Ampié, president of Coordinadora de Mujeres Rurales, Nicaragua
KG Hammar, former Archbishop of the Church of Sweden
Nicklas Berild Lundblad, head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, public policy and government relations at Google Inc
Grace Mtonga, president of Civic Forum on Housing and Habitat, Zambia
Birgitta Ohlsson, member of parliament and former Minister of European Union Affairs, Sweden
Anneli Rogeman (chair), CEO at We Effect, Sweden