Human Rights Awards Dinner

The 2016 Human Rights Awards Dinner will feature United Nations Special Rapporteur Christof Heyns. The event is being held:

Wednesday, June 1
5:00 - 6:30 p.m. - Silent Auction
6:30 - 8:30 p.m. - Dinner & Program

Marriott City Center
30 South 7th Street
Minneapolis, MN

In addition to presenting the event's keynote speech, Mr. Heyns will be presented with the 2016 Don and Arvonne Fraser Human Rights Award. 

About Christof Heyns

As the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Mr. Heyns (pictured right) investigates and exposes some of the world’s most serious human rights violations. In addition, he is professor of human rights law and co-director of the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.

The Advocates’ connection to Mr. Heyns’ work as a special rapporteur began in the 1980s when The Advocates developed the groundbreaking Minnesota Protocol, the first set of international guidelines for investigating suspicious unlawful deaths. Effective investigation is key to establishing responsibility and holding perpetrators accountable, but no international standards existed at the time that required governments to initiate or carry out investigations of suspected unlawful deaths.

The UN adopted the Minnesota Protocol in 1991 with the official title, UN Manual on the Effective Prevention of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions. The manual, widely known as the Minnesota Protocol, has been used in myriad investigative contexts in almost every region of the world. 

Last year, Mr. Heyns asked The Advocates to help update the Minnesota Protocol with forensic, medical, and other advancements since the original publication. “The need for clear international standards that encompass the realities of human rights abuses in the twenty-first century has resulted in the current revision,” said Mr. Heyns.

About the Human Rights Awards Dinner
A time-honored tradition, the Human Rights Awards Dinner is held each year to honor individuals who have contributed significantly to the human rights movement and to The Advocates' work. The Don and Arvonne Fraser Human Rights Award and special recognition awards are presented at the event. For information about award recipients and details of past events, click here.


We thank the law firms and businesses that have stepped forward to sponsor the Human Rights Awards Dinner.


Leading Sponsors