2021 Award Winners

On the evening of Thursday, April 7th, the finals of the Maastricht Human Rights Prize took place for the seventh time. The theme of the Maastricht Human Rights Prize in 2021 is the “health rights”. This freedom is one of the freedoms that form the foundation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.

The Award ceremony took place in the City Hall of Maastricht. From the entries the jury chose 6 winners:

Category 18+
1e prijs Kyra Hogenboom
2e prijs Konrad Gundersen
3e prijs Jovana Perovska

Category 18-
1e prijs Elize, Edien, Tes
2e prijs Celine, Isabella, Kyra
3 prijs Ben onderweg Hupperichs

The winners received an amount of money that they can grant to their own chosen charity. In addition all 12 finalists received in recognition of their work a beautiful remembrance designed by Sanne Vaassen.


Photo's: Esmee Engelen

Video 2021 Award Ceremony



The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) further elaborates a number of the rights that are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 12 (1) of that Covenant reads: “The States …….. recognize the right of everyone tot he enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health”.

But what is the meaning of the right to health? It is clear that the right to health is not to be understood as a right to be healthy; the State can never ensure the good health of everyone. How should then the right to health be understood. What are the rights and the entitlements, but also the responsibilities of the individual; what obligations flow from the right to health for the State and the government? Those are questions which require our full attention, in particular also the years 2020 and 2021, the years of the Covid-19 pandemic .

Does the right to health imply that we have to restructure the way in which we are living together: the one and a half meter society, an obligatory health app, selection of patients qualifying for intensive care in hospitals, hybrid education. These and many other questions will bet he focus of the 2021 Maastricht Human Rights Prize. We wish the participants every success and a lot of inspiration.

The initiator

Former Mayor Onno Hoes Maastricht launched the “Maastricht Human Rights Prize “during his farewell reception on 27 June 2015 in support of his long held passions for education and human rights. Rather than the traditional farewell gifts he asked for contributions to wards the realisation of this initiative.

The Maastricht Human Rights Prize

The aim is for students from secondary schools, secondary vocational and higher education institutions to reflect on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights during their studies in Maastricht. The competition encourages them to explore more deeply the human right selected as the annual theme, to develop their own concept or vision for the right and to convincingly share this with fellow students through creative expression in celebration of the UN Human Rights Day (10 December). Examples of creative expression include written lyrics, videos, artwork, song, dance, and so on. Both individual and group contributions are welcome.

The Maastricht Human Rights Prize Foundation

Onno Hoes has asked representatives from education
al institutions in Maastricht including the Maastricht University, LVO Maastricht, Zuyd University, VISTA college and the United World College (UWC) to take a seat on the Board of the Maastricht Human Rights Prize Foundation in support of its mission to honour and advocate for Human Rights.

2021 Theme