Marking the International Day of Human Rights at UN headquarters in New York, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recognized on 10 Dec. six people who have fought for human rights. Among them was Hilmijeta Apuk from Mitrovica, Kosovo.
Apuk has advocated in Kosovo and abroad for the rights of persons with disabilities for more than 30 years. She served as a member of the Ad Hoc Committee of the UN General Assembly, which drafted the Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She cofounded and directs the Little People of Kosova, a non-profit organization. She also serves as the national coordinator for an awareness campaign towards employing persons with disabilities. In her spare time, Apuk is an artist, working to promote the rights of persons with disabilities through her art.
“This award is very important for me in my work and for Kosovo, my country,” Apuk said. “It strengthens the voice of people with disabilities, including myself, and encourages us to continue our work towards human rights.”
The UN Secretary-General gives this award every five years to persons and organizations that have contributed to protecting human rights. Prior recipients have included Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and Benazir Butto.