On November 26, 2023, the ICRC received the prestigious Mother Teresa Memorial Awards for Social Justice on the theme of ‘Humanity in Action’ in Mumbai, India. In its 19th year, the Harmony Foundation felicitated individuals and organizations with these Awards for their contributions to humanity. The Honourable Governor of Maharashtra attended the distinguished occasion as Chief Guest, and the Honourable Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment of India, was the Guest of Honour. Amongst others were prominent Indian artists, filmmakers, social rights activists, and the Human Rights Commissioner of Maharashtra. 

Before the award was presented, the audience was shown a brief video about the ICRC’s work around the world. Kedir Awol Omar, Head of the Regional Delegation for India, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives, attended the ceremony and received the award on behalf of the ICRC. Highlighting the 160th anniversary of ICRC and its call for all sides to respect their obligations under IHL, he said, “this award is one we accept with pride, not just on behalf of the ICRC, but on behalf of millions of people around the world who serve alongside us in the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. As part of this Movement, volunteers and staff continue working tirelessly in 191 nations with humanity as one of their main guiding principles.” 

Besides the ICRC, eight other recipients, including NGOs, other organizations, and individuals, were honoured at the 19th edition of the Awards. Among the notable recipients this year were Snehalaya, an Indian NGO that assists women, children and LGBT communities affected by AIDS, poverty, violence, and trafficking; Heidi Kühn, a World Food Prize laureate who founded Roots of Peace; and Narges Mohammadi, a Nobel laureate and jailed Iranian activist.

Founded in 2005, the Harmony Foundation is an NGO that works in the realm of social justice with its raison d’être being the establishment and strengthening of social cohesion among various communities and to work towards the benefit of all without any discrimination. The Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice, established in 2005 by the Harmony Foundation, has recognized the dedicated efforts of people and groups all around the globe to promote peace, harmony, and social justice. Some of the past recipients of the Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice include Nobel Laureates Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai.