At the 18th Franco-German Council of Ministers on 7 April 2016, Germany and France announced the launch of an annual Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law.
Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement on 7 April:
In order to improve the protection of human rights worldwide, we need brave and active individuals who denounce shortcomings in their countries and stand up for these rights. We want to honour the work of these women and men, who demonstrate great civic courage and face significant personal risks as a result of their commitment, by awarding the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law.
We will award this prize on Human Rights Day (10 December) each year to between ten and fifteen individuals worldwide in the places where they live and work. This means that the prize will have an impact where human rights are at risk and where those who fight for human rights and the rule of law need our support.