Hauptinhalt

A logo for human rights

It looks almost like a hand about to take flight on a breeze – as light and delicate as a feather. This effect has not been achieved by accident, as the creator of the winning logo has combined the universally recognized symbols of a hand and a bird. His name is Predrag Stakić, and in September 2011, he was honoured in New York as the winner of the global competition to find a human rights logo.

Announcing Stakić’s design as the winner was the final stage in a global competition which had mobilized people around the world. The goal was to create a globally valid symbol for human rights because, as nearly everybody knows, a heart symbolizes love and a dove stands for peace – but a logo of that order did not yet exist for human rights.

Supporters of the human rights logo

Supporters of the human rights logo
© humanrightslogo.net

Bild vergrößern
Supporters of the human rights logo

Supporters of the human rights logo

Supporters of the human rights logo

This was in spite of the fact that a human rights logo would have much more than a simply visual meaning, being also a means of drawing attention to human rights abuses and giving a voice to those affected by them. The thing about a logo is that it is recognizable – and so helps encourage people to identify with human rights. However, it also serves to convey a message quickly and without words, beyond the confines of one particular language. This, as we find ourselves inundated with information by television and the Internet, has become more important than ever.

Foreign Minister Westerwelle, patron of the competition, called the awards ceremony with the young Serbian winner “an emotional moment”. As the Foreign Minister put it, the idea had been to find a logo which would be understood in all countries by people from different cultural and language backgrounds. Now, he said, a logo “by the people, for the people” had been found.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle launched the worldwide competition in Berlin on 3 May. He said on that occasion that a globally recognizable symbol for human rights was especially important for humanity “living as we do in times so steeped in visual imagery”. People from more than 190 countries answered that call, sending in a total of 15,369 logo designs.

World-wide voting


An online vote first narrowed the field down to 100 designs. It was from among those that an international jury selected the ten finalists. The members of the jury included Nobel Peace Prize laureates Aung San Suu Kyi, Jimmy Carter, Muhammad Yunus and Shirin Ebadi, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and Colombian musician Juanes. The ten finalists chosen by the jury were then put to the vote again, with people around the world able to vote for their favourites by visiting www.humanrightslogo.net .

What happens now?

Stakić (right) and Westerwelle at the awards ceremony

Stakić (right) and Westerwelle at the awards ceremony
© Photothek/Imo

Bild vergrößern
Stakić (right) and Westerwelle at the awards ceremony

Stakić (right) and Westerwelle at the awards ceremony

Stakić (right) and Westerwelle at the awards ceremony

The universal logo for human rights can make a vital contribution to promoting human rights everywhere – provided the image and awareness of it are now disseminated around the world. Anyone who visits http://humanrightslogo.net/download can now download the logo in various formats as well as press statements, templates for printing on merchandise, and photographic and film material from the initiative.

As of January 2013, it is now also possible to become a Human Rights Ambassador yourself. All you need to do is upload a picture of yourself with the logo to www.humanrightsambassador.net and so declare your commitment to protecting human rights and propagating the human rights logo.

For more information, visit “humanrightslogo” on Facebook or Twitter.


Last updated 02.04.2013