Sweden’s Right Livelihood Award, known as the “Alternative Nobel”, has been awarded to environment activists from Kenya and Cambodia, a human right defender from Ghana and a humanitarian group that rescues refugees in the Mediterranean Sea. 

The 2023 laureates “stand up to save lives, preserve nature and safeguard the dignity and livelihoods of communities around the world”, 

the awards foundation said on Thursday, adding that they “fight for people’s right to health, safety, a clean environment and democracy”.

This year’s prizes went to Phyllis Omido from Kenya and the groups Mother Nature Cambodia and SOS Mediterranee.

They will share a cash prize, but for security reasons, its size cannot be disclosed, the awards foundation said. The 2023 honorary award was given to Eunice Brookman-Amissah from Ghana.

“They care for their land and each human life connected to it: be it Indigenous communities or people risking their lives to get to safety,” Ole von Uexkull, the head of the Stockholm-based Right Livelihood Foundation, said in a statement.

The Cambodian advocacy group was cited for its “fearless and engaging activism to preserve Cambodia’s natural environment in the context of a highly restricted democratic space” 

While the non-profit charity that operates in international waters north of Libya was credited with carrying out “life-saving humanitarian search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea”.

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