International award for Aussie refugee lawyer
AUSTRALIAN lawyer Daniel Webb - the director of legal advocacy with the Human Rights Law Centre - has won the inaugural Global Pluralism Award for his work defending the rights of refugees and people seeking asylum.
Former Canadian prime minister and the chairman of the award jury, Joe Clark, announced Mr Webb, Kenyan conflict mediator Alice Wairimu Nderitu and Columbian peace campaigner Leyner Palacios as joint winners of the award on Tuesday night.
"The asylum seeker issue in Australia points to a staggering global crisis,” Mr Clark said.
"By protecting asylum seekers from horrendous detention and shifting the public conversation from one of deterrence to welcome, Daniel Webb is paving a way for other global leaders.”
An international jury selected the trio from a group of more than 200 nominations from 43 countries. Each winner receives $US40,000.
Mr Webb said while he was honoured to receive the award, the recognition highlighted the Australian Government's policies were profoundly harmful and fundamentally flawed.
"Men are dying on Manus, unaccompanied children, infants and pregnant women have been indefinitely impri- soned on Nauru,” he said.
"On this issue, we have completely lost our moral compass as a nation.
"Hopefully this international recognition is a real wake-up call. Because whatever the policy challenge, deliberate cruelty to innocent people is never the answer.”