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The Icebreakers Awards

Is the first civic engagement and human rights activism prize focusing on Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia. We want to honoring people and projects that made an outstanding contribution with their bravery, creativity and ability to bring about a change.

10.000 EUR The Main Prize

The main prize of 10.000 EUR will be granted for demonstrating civic courage, perseverance or solidarity with the unjustly persecuted. The winners of the additional five categories will receive a prize of 1000 EUR each.

The Icebreakers Awards Ceremony

The Awards are launched by The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR), Poland, and will be presented for the first time in 2022. The Icebreakers Awards Ceremony will take place in December 2022 in Warsaw.

The activists will be awarded in six categories. 

The nomination process will be opened on 28th March 2022

The Icebreakers Awards are meant to reveal real faces of inspiring and brave people. Let’s show European public the real stories of change-making projects and activists. 

Who should be awarded? You who know best! 

So take part and propose your nominee!






A Panel of Jurors consisting of renowned and respected experts in relevant fields will select five winners — one in each category, including the main Icebreakers Award.

You are going to be a Juror in the sixth category – choose the first Community Defender laureate in an open voting in October 2022.

Film Director

Agnieszka Holland

Current Time, Executive Editor

Kenan Aliyev

Former President of Kyrgyzstan

Roza Otunbayeva

Media Expert

Zurab Alasania

Political Scientist

Ekaterina Shulman

CEO of PandaDoc

Mikita Mikado

CEO of SocialBoost NGO

Denis Gursky


All Juries


The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR) is an independent NGO whose mission is to participate in building, strengthening and defending the standards of the rule of law, constitutional democracy, and respect for human rights and freedoms in Poland and abroad.

HFHR Founders


The Icebreakers Awards are intended to show appreciation and boost morale among activists in the region by publicly demonstrating that their work is valued. At the same time, by highlighting successful cases, the Awards are meant to inspire and motivate civil society, both in the region and beyond.

The Icebreakers Awards Organizing Committee


Despite the fact that we are aware of difficult situations in the respective countries, we want to turn the perspective around and showcase sources of inspiration, energy and perseverance.

The Icebreakers Awards Organizing Committee


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Icebreakers Awards 2021