$1000 and $500 Prizes

This year the Kemper Human Rights Education Foundation( is offering a first prize of $1000 and a second prize of $500 to high school students in the U.S.judged to have written the best answers to the following question:

Confronted with the coronavirus pandemic, countries around the world are making policy changes that affect human rights. How well is the United States meeting the goals of limiting the spread of the virus and preserving human rights? If there is a single issue that stands out above all the others, feel free to focus on that issue. In answering this question, please consider the following quote from COVID-19 and Human Rights, a document published by the United Nations in April of this year:
“Against a backdrop of rising ethno-nationalism, populism, authoritarianism and pushback against human rights in some countries, the crisis can provide a pretext to adopt repressive measures for purposes unrelated to the pandemic. The instability and fear that the pandemic engenders is exacerbating existing human rights concerns, such as discrimination against certain groups, hate speech, xenophobia, attacks and forced returns of refugees and asylum-seekers, mistreatment of migrants, and sexual and gender-based violence, as well as limited access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.”


Essays should be between 1000 and 2500 words and include a cover page with the: title of the essay, author’s name, name and address of the high school, name of a teacher or administrator at the high school, author’s grade level, date submitted, and the following statement signed by the author and author’s parent or guardian: “I give the Kemper Human Rights Education Foundation permission to publish this essay.” Essays will be judged according to how clearly and well they answer the question posed and the extent to which they are supported by research.

Submissions: Essays may be submitted as a Microsoft Word attachment to: or by regular mail to: KHREF, 184 Fillow Street, Norwalk, CT 06850.

Deadline: The deadline for submissions is December 10, 2020 (Human Rights Day).

Awards: Winners will be announced on January 14, 2021.