Human Rights Activists

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A human rights activist is one who believes and works either as an individual or as a member of an organization in order to promote and campaign for the basic rights and freedoms that humans are entitled to. A human rights activist will bring out the various human rights violation in the public domain and campaign to restore these rights. On the whole, a human rights activist may be involved in a wide range of campaigns like prevention of hate crimes, prevention of physical torture of convicts, campaigns for political and civil rights, gay rights and many others. A human right activist will campaign against the various kinds of human right abuses and bring these issues in the limelight of the media and the public eye. The United States Human Rights Council, which is one of the most significant organizations in the United States, has addressed several conflicts and human rights issues around the world since the time it was established. Some of the issues it has addressed include, woman’s rights and rights of racial and ethnic minorities among many others. To get acquainted with more interesting information; continue to read on about some of the famous human rights activists, with their biographies that include trivia, interesting facts, timeline and life history.
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 1 
Malcolm X
(Major Figure of American Civil Rights Movement)
Malcolm X
6
Birthdate: May 19, 1925
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Died: February 21, 1965

An African-American leader of the civil rights movement, Malcolm X was a vocal spokesman of the Nation of Islam and called upon the blacks to protect themselves from the white, even if it meant adopting violence. His radical views and preaching later evolved and he accepted the possibility of peaceful resolution of racial issues in America.

 2 
Amal Clooney
(Lebanese-British Barrister Specialising in International Law and Human Rights & the Wife of Actor George Clooney)
Amal Clooney
10
Birthdate: February 3, 1978
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon

Amal Clooney is a Lebanese-British barrister, specializing in human rights and international law. Her clients include popular and influential personalities like Yulia Tymoshenko, Nadia Murad, and Julian Assange. Her work and philanthropic activities gained media coverage after her wedding to actor George Clooney. The Clooneys are well-known philanthropists and are founders of the Clooney Foundation for Justice.

 3 
Oskar Schindler
(German Industrialist and Member of Nazi Party Who Saved the Lives of 1,200 Jews During the Holocaust)
Oskar Schindler
8
Birthdate: April 28, 1908
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Svitavy, Czechia
Died: October 9, 1974

Oskar Schindler was a German industrialist who displayed extraordinary dedication and courage to save the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust. Oskar Schindler's act is viewed by many as the kind of act that restores faith in humanity.  His inspirational and heart-warming story was adapted into an Oscar-winning film titled Schindler's List.

 4 
Fred Hampton
(American Activist and Deputy Chairman of the National Black Panther Party)
Fred Hampton
4
Birthdate: August 30, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
Died: December 4, 1969

Fred Hampton was considered an activist and a revolutionary socialist working for social change. He was the deputy chairman of the national Black Panther Party. He founded the Rainbow Coalition, aiming to help the Chicago street gangs to end infighting. The FBI considered him as a major threat and he was shot and killed in December 1969 during a raid.

 5 
Kerry Kennedy
(American Lawyer, Author and Human Rights Activist)
Kerry Kennedy
8
Birthdate: September 8, 1959
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

The daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy serves as a human rights activist. She is the president of a non-profit organization called Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, which advocates human rights. Over the years, Kerry Kennedy has worked in over 60 countries on various human rights issues like child labor, ethnic violence, indigenous land rights, and freedom of expression.

 6 
Solomon Northup
6
Birthdate: July 10, 1807
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Minerva, New York
Died: 1863 AD
Abolitionist Solomon Northup had authored the memoir Twelve Years a Slave, which was later adapted into the Academy Award-winning film 12 Years a Slave. Northup was abducted and sold as a slave to a planter in Louisiana. He was eventually freed with the help of the governor New York.
 7 
Nicholas Winton
(British Humanitarian and Banker)
Nicholas Winton
8
Birthdate: May 19, 1909
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hampstead, London, England, United Kingdom
Died: July 1, 2015

Nicholas Winton was a British humanitarian and banker best remembered for founding an organization to save children at risk from Czechoslovakia. He is credited with overseeing the rescue of 669 children from Czechoslovakia just before the commencement of the Second World War. This rescue mission came to be known as the Czech Kindertransport.

 8 
Bianca Jagger
(Nicaraguan Social and Human Rights Advocate & Wife of Singer Mick Jagger)
Bianca Jagger
6
Birthdate: May 2, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Managua, Nicaragua

Bianca Jagger is a Nicaraguan social rights advocate. She is credited with founding the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, where she is currently serving as the chairperson. For her work as a humanitarian, Jagger has received several awards, including the Champion of Justice Award. A former actress, Jagger appeared in many movies and TV shows throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

 9 
Melissa Mathison
(Screenwriter)
Melissa Mathison
6
Birthdate: June 3, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: November 4, 2015

Melissa Mathison was a screenwriter and an activist for the Tibetan independence movement. She attended the University of California, Berkeley, for a while but quit before graduating. She was acquainted with Francis Ford Coppola who encouraged her to pursue a screenwriting career. She was once married to actor, Harrison Ford, and had two children.

 10 
Martin Luther King III
(Human Rights Activist)
Martin Luther King III
6
Birthdate: October 23, 1957
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama
The American civil rights activist has continued his legendary father Martin Luther King Jr.’s struggle for racial equality. Martin Luther King III headed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference founded by his father and endorsed Barack Obama’s nomination for American presidency. King fought against police brutality, but he also denounced capital punishment, saying he did not belive in retributional justice.
 11 
Yolanda King
(Civil Rights Activist and Daughter of Civil Rights Leader 'Martin Luther King Jr.')
Yolanda King
9
Birthdate: November 17, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States
Died: May 15, 2007

African American activist, Yolanda King, was the first-born child of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. Exposed to social justice activism at a young age, she grew up to be an outspoken supporter of civil rights and LGBTQA+ rights. She was also known for her artistic endeavors. She died of heart disease at 51. 

 12 
Abdul Sattar Edhi
(Humanitarian)
Abdul Sattar Edhi
4
Birthdate: February 28, 1928
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bantva, Gujarat, India
Died: July 8, 2016

Abdul Sattar Edhi was a Pakistani ascetic, philanthropist, and humanitarian. He is credited with founding the Edhi Foundation, which operates a volunteer ambulance network as well as several animal shelters, orphanages, homeless shelters, and rehabilitation centres across Pakistan. He was often nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize during his lifetime.

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 13 
Jello Biafra
(Singer, Actor, Human rights activist, Politician, Journalist)
Jello Biafra
6
Birthdate: June 17, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Boulder
 14 
Mia Farrow
(Actress & Human Rights Activist Known for Her Films: 'Rosemary's Baby' and 'Guns at Batasi')
Mia Farrow
0
Birthdate: February 9, 1945
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Mia Farrow is one of the most decorated actresses of her generation. She is the first American actress to join the Royal Shakespeare Company. Apart from being an actress, she is also known for her humanitarian activities, especially in African countries. A UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Mia was named in Time magazine's most influential people in the world list in 2008.

 15 
Maajid Nawaz
(Activist, Radio Presenter and Founding Chairman of the Think Tank 'Quilliam')
Maajid Nawaz
6
Birthdate: November 2, 1977
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England

As a young boy, Maajid Nawaz had frequent clashes with the skinheads of Essex. Born in England, the SOAS and LSE alumnus had a 4-year stint in an Egyptian jail for his association with the Islamic extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. He now promotes secular Islam and has also advised David Cameron.

 16 
Reza Pahlavi, Crown Prince of Iran
(Founder and leader of the self-styled National Council of Iran)
Reza Pahlavi, Crown Prince of Iran
1
Birthdate: October 31, 1960
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

Reza Pahlavi is the oldest son of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, and his wife Farah Diba. He was the crown prince before the Iranian Revolution overthrew the Pahlavi dynasty in 1979. He is the founder of the self-styled National Council of Iran and a prominent critic of Iran's Islamic Republic government. 

 17 
Nadia Murad
(Human rights activist)
Nadia Murad
4
Birthdate: 1993 AD
Birthplace: Kocho, Iraq
 18 
Lorraine Hansberry
(Writer, Theatre director, Screenwriter, Playwright, Human rights activist)
Lorraine Hansberry
4
Birthdate: May 19, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: January 12, 1965

Lorraine Hansberry was a writer and playwright best remembered for her play A Raisin in the Sun which emphasizes the plight of African-Americans living under racial segregation. At the age of 29, Lorraine Hansberry received the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, becoming the youngest playwright and the first African-American dramatist to win the prestigious award.

 19 
Liu Xiaobo
(Chinese Human Rights Activist and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate)
Liu Xiaobo
6
Birthdate: December 28, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Changchun, China
Died: July 13, 2017

Liu Xiaobo was a Chinese activist, literary critic, and philosopher. He is best remembered for organizing campaigns that aimed at ending the one-party rule in China. He was honored with the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his struggle for human rights in China. Liu is the first Chinese citizen to be honored with a Nobel Prize while residing in China.

 20 
Zelda Rubinstein
3
Birthdate: May 28, 1933
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: January 27, 2010
 21 
Andrew Koenig
3
Birthdate: August 17, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
Died: February 14, 2010
 22 
Andrei Sakharov
(Soviet Nuclear Physicist, Dissident and Winner of the 1975 Nobel Prize for Peace)
Andrei Sakharov
6
Birthdate: May 21, 1921
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: December 14, 1989

Andrei Sakharov was a Russian dissident and nuclear physicist best remembered for designing RDS-37, Soviet Union's first two-stage hydrogen bomb. Also an activist for peace and human rights, Andrei Sakharov was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975. The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, which is awarded by the European Parliament, is named in his honor.

 23 
Lady Miss Kier
3
Birthdate: August 15, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Youngstown, Ohio, USA
 24 
Opal Tometi
(Activist)
Opal Tometi
4
Birthdate: August 15, 1984
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Phoenix, Arizona, United States

Opal Tometi is an American writer, human rights activist, community organizer, and strategist. She is best known as a co-founder of the popular decentralized social and political movement Black Lives Matter (BLM). In 2017, Opal Tometi was honored with the prestigious Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award. In 2020, she was named in the 100 Most Influential People list by Time magazine.

 25 
Ed Roberts
(American disability rights activist)
Ed Roberts
3
Birthdate: January 23, 1939
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: San Mateo, California, United States
Died: March 14, 1995

Ed Roberts was an American activist best remembered for his contribution to the disability rights movement. Roberts, who became the first student to attend the University of California, Berkeley in a wheelchair, played an important role in inspiring and motivating people with physical disabilities. In 2011, Ed Roberts was inducted into the California Hall of Fame.

 26 
Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia
(Human rights activist, Princess)
Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia
3
Birthdate: April 7, 1936
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Belgrade, Serbia
 27 
Sarah Hegazi
(Human rights activist)
Sarah Hegazi
4
Birthdate: May 22, 1989
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Egypt
Died: June 14, 2020
 28 
Rigoberta Menchú
(Guatemalan Human Rights Activist and Winner of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize )
Rigoberta Menchú
3
Birthdate: January 9, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Laj Chimel, Guatemala

Nobel Peace Prize-winning Guatemalan activist is known for her fight for the rights of indigenous people and women. Her entire family was accused of participating in guerrilla activities, brutalized, and killed by the Guatemalan army. She has been a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and founded the first Guatemalan indigenous political party.

 29 
Henry Dunant
(Swiss Humanitarian, Businessman and Co-Founder of the 'Red Cross')
Henry Dunant
5
Birthdate: May 8, 1828
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland
Died: October 30, 1910

Henry Dunant was a Swiss businessman, social activist, and humanitarian. He is credited with co-founding and promoting the Red Cross. In 1901, he became the first Swiss Nobel laureate when he was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize. Dunant is also credited with founding the Swiss branch of YMCA. His life inspired the 1948 historical drama film, Man to Men.

 30 
Denis Mukwege
(Gynecologist)
Denis Mukwege
3
Birthdate: March 1, 1955
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo
 31 
Manizha
(Pop music performer who was nominated for Sobaka.ru Magazine's Top 50 award in 2017)
Manizha
0
Birthdate: July 8, 1991
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dushanbe, Tajikistan
 32 
Ella Baker
(American activist)
Ella Baker
3
Birthdate: December 13, 1903
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Norfolk, Virginia, United States
Died: December 13, 1986
 33 
Iris Chang
(Journalist)
Iris Chang
3
Birthdate: March 28, 1968
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Princeton, New Jersey, United States
Died: November 9, 2004
 34 
Geronimo Pratt
(Former military veteran who was accused in 1972 for the 1968 murder of Caroline Olsen)
Geronimo Pratt
3
Birthdate: September 13, 1947
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Morgan City, Louisiana, United States
Died: June 2, 2011
 35 
Loung Ung
(Memoirist who wrote two books which related her life experiences from 1975 through 2003)
Loung Ung
1
Birthdate: November 19, 1970
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
 36 
Ophelia Dahl
(Social justice and health care advocate)
Ophelia Dahl
3
Birthdate: May 12, 1964
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oxford, England
 37 
Diane Nash
(Human rights activist)
Diane Nash
0
Birthdate: May 15, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
 38 
Alan Lomax
(Folklorist)
Alan Lomax
3
Birthdate: January 31, 1915
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Austin
Died: July 19, 2002
 39 
Jack Herer
(Politician)
Jack Herer
3
Birthdate: June 18, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Buffalo NY, United States
Died: April 15, 2010
 40 
Melissa Chen
(Journalist)
Melissa Chen
3
Birthdate: 1985 AD
Birthplace: Singapore
 41 
Michelle Alexander
3
Birthdate: October 7, 1967
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
 42 
Marina Picasso
(Humanitarian)
Marina Picasso
3
Birthdate: November 14, 1950
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: France

Marina Picasso is a French humanitarian best known as the granddaughter of popular Spanish painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso. After inheriting a fifth of Pablo Picasso's estate, Marina Picasso used much of the inheritance to support humanitarian programs for children in need. Marina Picasso is credited with establishing a charitable organization called The Marina Picasso Foundation.

 43 
Debito Arudou
(Writer, Human rights activist)
Debito Arudou
3
Birthdate: January 13, 1965
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: California, United States
 44 
Craig Kielburger
(Canadian Author)
Craig Kielburger
3
Birthdate: December 17, 1982
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Thornhill, Vaughan, Canada

At age 12, Craig Kielburger and his brother read about a child laborer of his age who was murdered in Pakistan for protesting against child labor in his country, and the duo immediately stepped into action. Their organization Free the Children led to the formation of the WE Movement.  

 45 
Helen Prejean
(Catholic Religious Sister and a Leading American Advocate for the Abolition of the Death Penalty)
Helen Prejean
3
Birthdate: April 21, 1939
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States

A leading advocate for abolition of death penalty, Roman Catholic sister, Helen Prejea,n started her campaign after she became spiritual guide for a death row convict, penning down her experience in her best-selling book, Dead Man Walking. Also the founder of SURVIVE, a group aimed at helping the families of the victims, she has since been giving talks across USA.     

 46 
Shirin Ebadi
(Human Rights Activist)
Shirin Ebadi
5
Birthdate: June 21, 1947
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hamadan

Nobel Peace Prize-winning human rights activist and lawyer Shirin Ebadi is known for her significant work with refugees, women, and children, and her countless books, such as Iran Awakening. In spite of being Iran’s first female judge, she found it difficult to establish herself in the male-dominated profession.

 47 
Bogd Khan
(Mongolian head of state)
Bogd Khan
3
Birthdate: 1869 AD
Birthplace: Litang, Sichuan, Qing Dynasty
Died: May 20, 1924
 48 
Walter Reuther
(Politician)
Walter Reuther
3
Birthdate: September 1, 1907
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wheeling, USA
Died: May 9, 1970
 49 
Lee Hyeon-seo
(Human rights activist)
Lee Hyeon-seo
0
Birthdate: 1980
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hyesan, North Korea
 50 
Teji Bachchan
(Human rights activist)
Teji Bachchan
3
Birthdate: August 12, 1914
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Faisalabad, Pakistan
Died: December 21, 2007