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The Schuman Awards give visibility to and recognise the work of outstanding personalities who often face resistance, criticism and threat. They aim at encouraging them to continue their efforts in promoting fundamental rights and freedoms.
The 2017 laureates include U Ko Ni (posthumous), a lawyer assassinated in January this year, for his outstanding efforts to promote rule of law and civil rights during Myanmar's transition process. As a member of Myanmar’s Muslim community, U Ko Ni also stood out for his engagement for interfaith dialogue and against discrimination. Daw Ja Nan Lahtaw, director of the Shalom Foundation, was recognised for her outstanding engagement in promoting peace and gender equality in Myanmar. The third laureate, U Aung Myo Min, is the executive director of Equality Myanmar and took part in Myanmar’s 1988 student uprising. He spent 24 years in exile and has been an active and outspoken leader in the promotion of human and rights and equality since his return to Myanmar in 2013.The Schuman Award honours U Aung Myo Min's tireless efforts in promoting human rights and equality in Myanmar.
The 2017 Myanmar awardees were jointly chosen by representatives of European Union member states in Myanmar, out of a list of activists, researchers, politicians, social workers, journalists, lawyers and community leaders. The Award ceremony was held in Yangon in April.