The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation, has today issued a call for nominations for the 2021 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize. More
The selection panel of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, which rewards outstanding civil society action in the defence of human rights in Europe and beyond, has today announced the shortlist for the 2020 Prize, with all three nominees involved in promoting women’s rights or gender equality. More
Have We Learned Any Lessons? An article written by Martin Palouš and David J. Kramer 25/02/20
Thirty years ago, on February 21, 1990, the new president of Czechoslovakia addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress in Washington, DC. Less than four months before, in a remarkable contrast to the position he had assumed as leader of his country, Vaclav Havel had been under arrest as a “subversive element” in his country under a Communist regime that was soon to come to a spectacular end. Continue reading here.
Conference Global Challenges to Liberal Thought 28/01/20
Dear guests, Due to organisational reasons on the side of our partner, we are obliged to postpone the conference "Global Challenges to Liberal Thought" on 31 January and 1 February to which you have registered. We will inform you about the new date in advance. We apologize for any inconvenience and we are looking forward to seeing you at some other event at our premises. Václav Havel Library Team
- Where: on-line
- When: April 19, 2021, 12:30 – 14:30
At first glance it might appear that the pandemic does not discriminate, impacting all equally. However, the struggle against the coronavirus should not obscure the urgency of the struggle for human rights, and should in no way provide a pretext or excuse for their breach. Tyrannical regimes may attempt to capitalise on, and hide behind, the period of crisis. Last year served as a warning in that respect. We need to keep a close eye on the severe crackdown on human rights in Hong Kong, the continued oppression of the Uyghurs, the Myanmar regime’s brutal pogroms against people demonstrating for democracy and the metastasis of Islamic State terror in some African states.
In all these struggles for a dignified, normal life, women play an important, frequently leading, role. This makes it more than fitting that the finalists in this year’s Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize are women.
All of us hope that the right to a normal life will also return when the pandemic ends. But in many countries around the world, whether Congo, Saudi Arabia or Nepal, women are unwilling and unable to wait; what they want is normal lives right now.
12.30 – 13.00 Live broadcast from session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg
13.00 – 13.10 Launch of the international conference by Michael Žantovský, director of the Václav Havel Library
13.10 – 13.20 Keynote address from Kateřina Šimáčková, Czech Constitutional Court judge
13.20 – 13.30 Profiles of finalists
13.30 – 13.40 Interview with the laureate of the 2020 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize
13.40 – 14.30 Panel discussion with finalists, moderated by Michael Žantovský
Three finalists of the Prize
Loujain Alhathloul (Saudi Arabia)
The nominee is one of the leaders of the Saudi feminist movement. Ms Alhathloul is a prominent womens’ rights activist known for defying the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia and for opposing the Saudi male guardianship system. She has been detained on several occasions, sentenced and has been in prison since 2018.
Nuns of the Drukpa Order (Nepal)
The nominee is a group of young Buddhist nuns, promoting gender equality, environmental sustainability and intercultural tolerance in their home villages in the Himalayas. They are known for their delivery of supplies to hard-to-reach villages after an earthquake struck Kathmandu in 2015. The Nuns of the Drukpa Order have also taught self-defence classes for women and biked over 20,000 kilometres to protest against the trafficking of women and girls.
Julienne Lusenge (Congo)
The nominee is a Congolese human rights activist who has been documenting sexual abuse and acts of violence against women in Congo. She was instrumental in obtaining the conviction of those accused of recruiting for enlisting child soldiers and as well as obtaining the convictions of hundreds of perpetrators of sexual violence against women at national level. She has been threatened for her work on several occasions.
- Where: on-line
- When: April 20, 2021, 18:00 – 20:20
The fight goes on and lessons learned in Portugal and in Czechoslovakia as an inspiration for future transformation
The program, organized under the auspices of the Ambassador of Portugal to the Czech Republic, H.E. Luís de Almeida Sampaio together with the Václav Havel Library, will be streamed in English on The Havel Channel as a part of a series of events on the occasion of the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union.
- Where: on-line
- When: April 29, 2021, 19:00 – 20:00
How the CEU made its way from Prague to Budapest to Vienna in thirty years, and what it says about Central Europe today
In 1989, a group of European intellectuals from three Central European countries, came together to discuss the idea of a new educational institution, which would transcend national borders and the constraints of history, tradition and prejudice. In April 1990 in Bratislava, the leaders of three Central European countries endorsed the idea of a university to champion the principles of democracy and free societies in the region, A year later, with the support of the financier and philanthropist George Soros, the Central European University started operating in Prague. That same year, the university opened two sister branches, in Budapest and Warsaw. In 1996, the Prague branch of CEU, made to feel unwelcome by the government of the Czech Republic, relocated to Budapest. Less than three decades later, in 2019, following the passing of legislation by the Hungarian government and parliament targeting CEU, the university was once more forced to relocate its teaching, this time to Vienna.
CEU’s story is both illustrative, and a result of some of the broader developments and challenges of Central Europe after 1989. To mark the anniversary of the university’s founding 30 years ago, the Václav Havel Library will host a panel discussion with the current and two former rectors along with a Czech sociologist and CEU alumna, who has made the university the subject of her scholarly work.
Michael Ignatieff - CEU President and Rector since 2016 - , Canadian author, historian and former politician
John Shattuck - Former CEU President and Rector, (2009 - 2016), international legal scholar and human rights leader, former US Ambassador to the Czech Republic.
Josef Jařab - Former CEU President and Rector, (1997 - 1999), Academician, American scholar, literary historian, translator, former senator.
Tereza Pospíšilová - Czech sociologist and CEU alumna, author of “Different from the others: Central European University in Prague, 1990 - 1996” and other publications on the subject.
Moderator: Michael Žantovský, Executive Director, Václav Havel Library
The program will be streamed live in English on Havel Channel
Havel Channel je audiovizuální projekt Knihovny Václava Havla, jehož cílem je šířit myšlenkový, literární a politický odkaz Václava Havla, bez ohledu na vzdálenost, zeměpisné hranice či nouzové stavy. Jeho páteř tvoří debaty, vzdělávací projekty a rozhovory. Velký prostor je věnován též konferencím, autorským čtením, záznamům divadelních inscenací a koncertům. Audiovizuální projekt Knihovny Václava Havla Havel Channel se uskutečňuje díky laskavé podpoře Karel Komárek Family Foundation.
The central focus of the Library’s publishing programme is the life and work of Václav Havel, his family and close collaborators and friends. For clarity, the programme is divided into six series: Václav Havel Library Notebooks, Václav Havel Library Editions, Student Line, Talks from Lány, Václav Havel Documents, Works of Pavel Juráček and Václav Havel Library Conferences. Titles that cannot be incorporated into any of the given series but which are nonetheless important for the Library’s publishing activities are issued independently, outside the series framework.
Price: 449,- CZKSold out
Price: 289,- CZKSold out
Price: 289,- CZKSold out
Václav Havel European Dialogues
The Václav Havel European Dialogues is an international project that aims to initiate and stimulate a discussion about issues determining the direction of contemporary Europe while referring to the European spiritual legacy of Václav Havel. This idea takes its main inspiration from Václav Havel’s essay “Power of the Powerless”. More than other similarly focused projects, the Václav Havel European Dialogues aims to offer the “powerless” a platform to express themselves and in so doing to boost their position within Europe.
The Václav Havel European Dialogues is planned as a long-term project and involves cooperation with other organisations in various European cities. Individual meetings, which take the form of a conference, are targeted primarily at secondary and third-level students, as well as specialists and members of the public interested in European issues.
Václav Havel Human Rights Prize
The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize is awarded each year by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation to reward outstanding civil society action in the defence of human rights in Europe and beyond.
* 5. 10. 1936 Praha
† 18. 12. 2011 Hrádeček u Trutnova
Za dobu svého trvání Knihovna Václava Havla připravila a uspořádala desítky výstav. Část z nich – přibližující nejen život a dílo Václava Havla, ale též nejrůznější kulturní, historické a společenské fenomény českých zemí 2. poloviny 20. století – se stala součástí jejího archivu. Nyní bychom je rádi prostřednictvím tohoto digitálního depozitáře nabídli dalším vzdělávacím a kulturním institucím (školám, knihovnám, klubům…) k bezplatnému využití.