With Iranian lawyer Shadi Sadr, the winner of the second Human Rights Tulip award in 2009

In January 2008, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs commissioned me to work out the modalities of their new prize, the Human Rights Defenders Tulip, which it continues to award annually. I researched and wrote a fifteen-page report concerning criteria for nominees, the method of publicizing the award and calling for nominations, the assessment process leading to the selection of the winner, the content of the prize, the way the prize would be presented, and the structure for administering the award.

Then from August 2009 to December 2012, I was the Secretary of the five-person independent jury for the prize.  I ensured the widest possible dissemination of the call for nominations for the prize, reviewed all nominations, carried out additional research on the nominees, and supported the jury in selecting the winners.

In cooperation with the Dutch Government, I arranged programmes in The Netherlands, Geneva and Brussels for the prize winners.  The programmes were developed in close consultation with the winners in order to meet their specific needs.  Interviews with the press, discussions with groups of local NGOs, meetings at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a hearing at the European Parliament, visits to Permanent Representations of EU member states in Brussels, meetings with bodies of the Council of the European Union like the Political and Security Council, meetings with staff of United Nations Special Rapporteurs and of both EU and non-EU countries' Permanent Representations to the UN in Geneva all featured on the agenda.