Today we received the following letter from the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank in Washington, DC:
Dear members of the Indian Workers Congress:
It is my great pleasure to inform you that the Indian Workers Congress has been chosen as the recipient of the 2008 Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award.
This awards program was started in 1977 to honor outstanding human rights work in memory of two former Institute for Policy Studies colleagues, Orlando Letelier and Ronni Karpen Moffitt (see attached for more background). Each year, a committee made up of distinguished leaders of the human rights community selects awardees in the following categories:
• International Award: recognizes an outstanding organization or individual (or both) from the Western Hemisphere that has championed human rights.
• Domestic Award: recognizes an outstanding organization or individual (or both) in the United States that has championed human rights in the U.S.
The Institute for Policy Studies nominated the Indian Workers Congress for the Domestic Award because of the workers’ courageous stand against what is essentially modern-day slavery in the world’s richest nation. We have also been inspired by your creative use of collective action and the powerful legacies of the human rights struggles both here and in India to seek justice — not only for the affected Signal workers, but for all victims of human trafficking and exploitative guestworker programs. We are proud to honor your activities and we look forward to working with you to take utmost advantage of the awards program to support your ongoing work.
The awards ceremony will take place Wednesday, October 15th, at the National Press Club in Washington. The international award recipient will be Francisco Soberon, director of the Peruvian group APRODEH (Asociacion Pro-Derechos Humanos), who is responsible for putting former President Alberto Fujimori on trial for human rights violations. We will be in touch with you to discuss more details about the event.
On behalf of the entire Selection Committee, I congratulate you.