2004: Delphine Djiraibe, Chad
Advocating for social, economic, and environmental rights in Chad and for World Bank accountability and corporate responsibility in the disbursement of oil revenues.
Human rights attorney and co-founder of the Chadian Association for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights, Delphine Djiraib received the 2004 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. In a country stricken with the effects of decades of civil war, continuing violence, and the violation of fundamental rights, Djiraibe fights to protect the human rights of Chadian civilians and to prevent further environmental devastation.
Focusing on the Chad-Cameroon Oil & Pipeline Project, Djiraibe strives to ensure that revenues received from oil are utilized to benefit the people of Chad rather than used for the purchase of warfare or other military support. Although she successfully lobbied the World Bank to set restrictions and conditions on spending oil revenue, these spending guidelines can no longer be guaranteed without international intervention. The international community needs to stay engaged to ensure the money is used for social development and poverty alleviation projects.
Assisting in Djiraibe's cause, RFK Memorial Center for Human Rights has begun to formulate strategies to encourage the effective and responsible dispersion of oil revenues by persuading the oil companies and the World Bank to act conscientiously, raising awareness and gaining support within the US government, and establishing systems for conflict resolution. Djiraibe, with RFK Center support, also established the first Public Interest Law Center in Chad to provide low cost/pro bono legal services to poor Chadians.