UPR Info's Champion wins the Embassy Tulip Prize in DRC
On 13 December 2022, the Netherlands Embassy in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) announced the human rights defender Vicar Batundi as the 2022 recipient of its Embassy Tulip Prize.
Recognized for his ongoing efforts to protect the rights of the most vulnerable and defend civic space and democracy across DRC, Vicar Batundi received the recognition from the Dutch Ambassador M. Jolke Oppewal. « It’s a pleasure for me to give this recognition to a man that has worked for many years to protect approximately more than 800 human rights defenders in DRC », said the Ambassador during the ceremony on the occasion of International Human Rights Day.
Every year, a selection of embassies around the world have the opportunity of awarding an Embassy Tulip to honor local human rights defenders for their valuable and courageous work. These local awards exist along with the national Human Rights Tulip that this year was awarded to the Viasna Human Rights Center in Belarus.
A human rights defender with over 15 years of experience, Vicar Batundi is National Coordinator of the Association for the Development of Self-Promotion of Pygmies and Indigenous People with Disadvantages (FDAPID). Since 2004, he has been working through FDAPID to eradicate marginalization, discrimination and enslavement of indigenous Pygmy peoples by promoting human rights education, protecting the environment and increasing the socio-economic conditions in the local communities.
In 2021, UPR Info awarded FDAPID with a grant to support the implementation of UPR recommendations received by the DRC in May 2019. FDAPID was selected over 45 project applications to implement UPR recommendations on economic, social and cultural rights in DRC. Through this project FDAPID conducted an important advocacy work by organizing press conferences and meeting with local institutions and raise awareness on the commitments and obligations taken by DRC to protect economic and social rights. The project reached more than 100 women who benefitted of training sessions on their rights and of financial support to overcome the challenges exacerbated by the Covid pandemic.