The winners of the 2017 Right Livelihood Awards—often referred to as the Alternative Nobel Prize—were announced in Stockholm, Sweden on Tuesday in order to honor and reward the dedication and positive impact from this year’s four recipients: Khadija Ismayilova  from Azerbaijan, Robert Billot from the United States, Yetnebersh Nigussie  from Ethiopia, and India’s Colin Gonsalves.

The four winners this year join 170 previous laureates from 69 different who have received the award since it was established in 1980. According to the Right Livelihood Award Foundation, which administers the prizes, recipients are recognized for offering “visionary and exemplary solutions to the root causes” of serious problems facing their communities and the world.

“This year’s Laureates protect the rights and lives of citizens across three continents,” said Ole von Uexkull, executive director of the foundation, in a statement. “With their courageous work for human rights, public health and good governance, they tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges at their very core. At a time of alarming setbacks for democracy, their successes show us the way forward towards a just, peaceful and sustainable world for all.”

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The 2017 recipients:

Robert Bilott (United States)

Colin Gonsalves (India)

Yetnebersh Nigussie (Ethiopia)


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