72 Peace Prizes that are NOT the Nobel Peace Prize

Learn about the politics of Peace Prizes and discover 72 Peace Prizes that are not the Nobel Peace Prize.

by Taylor O’Connor | 7 September 2023

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

“The only way to abolish war is to make peace heroic.” – James Hinton

Let’s play a game.

If you search for the term ‘Nobel Peace Prize’ in google you get about 158 million results.

The Right Livelihood Award, often called the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize, gets 15.5 million, that’s less than 10% of the Nobel Peace Prize. The equally prestigious Luxembourg Peace Prize is at 3%. The Lenin Peace Prize (a relic of the Soviet Union) clocks in at just above 2%. And poor War Resisters League Peace Award (since 1958) is down there at under 0.03%. They aren’t the only ones.

So what is going on here? Why is the Nobel Peace Prize so hot? Why don’t these other Peace Prizes get much love?

Perhaps there are no simple answers to these complex questions, so I can’t help you there. But what I can do for you is teach you about tons of other cool Peace Prizes, 72 of them to be exact.

In this blog post, we celebrate 72 lesser-known Peace Prizes that recognize peace heroes past and present, inspiring us, and showing us creative ways we can take action for a more peaceful, just world.

But first, what is the Nobel Peace Prize anyways?


The Nobel Peace Prize isn’t what you think it is…

In his 1895 will, prominent businessman Alfred Nobel allocated the bulk of his fortune to be divided into five parts and to be used for prizes in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and peace. This last part, that’s were we get The Nobel Peace Prize.

His will stated that the Peace Prize be awarded each year “to the person who has done the most or best to advance fellowship among nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and the establishment and promotion of peace congresses.” To decode the last part – peace activists began regularly organizing ‘peace congresses’ to coordinate global efforts prevent/abolish war since 1815, shortly after the end of the Napoleonic Wars.

And the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded each year since 1901. The key purposes of the prize as per the will of Alfred Nobel, and in simple language: 1) advancing peaceful relationships among nations, 2) war abolition and/or demilitarization, and 3) coordination of global peace efforts.

It is important to note that there is considerable controversy surrounding the Nobel Peace Prize among peace activist groups, noting how the prize has diverged from Alfred Nobel’s original intentions for war abolition. There is a lot of talk about the political pressures influencing the each year’s laureate(s), of corruption in the Norwegian Nobel Committee, and of the various reasons why certain candidates were chosen or not.

You can read all about it in the book The Nobel Peace Prize: What Nobel Really Wanted.

So basically, there is no chance today that any recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize be among the many individuals and organizations working for war abolition or coordinating global peace movements (for the abolition of war).

But that is a story for another day, another blog post. The important thing to understand for The Nobel Peace Prize does not have a monopoly on awards for peace. There are tons of Peace Prizes out there.


What you can do with this list

So I’ve included here descriptions of 72 Peace Prizes that are not the Nobel Peace Prize. Here are some ideas of how this is useful and what you can do with this list.

First, review the list and the categories by which I’ve organized the prizes. Get a sense of what types of peace prizes are out there, what are the gaps.

I’ll tell you in advance, noted gaps include prizes for music and the arts, environmental peacebuilding, peace media, and technology for peace. There are also few prizes for women peacebuilders, and in my opinion there should be more awards for individuals and organizations working for demilitarization and war abolition. Last one that is lacking is on taking creative approaches to build a culture of peace.

Second, find some prizes that interest you, check out the winners, and get inspired. All websites included have a list of winners across the many years the prizes have been awarded. And from the winners you can find tons of inspiration. Inspiration from peace heroes is important, and you can also get lots of creative ideas from learning about them. Find some you like, then do some of your own research about them. If they wrote a book, read it. There is tons you can learn.

Third, consider nominating deserving individuals or organizations for some awards. A lot of these awards have open nomination processes. You can find links to the submission processes on their websites.

Fourth and last, if you are involved in any peace effort or organization, consider giving out your own Peace Prize. Awarding of peace prizes is a creative approach for peacebuilding. Giving out peace awards can raise awareness about important peace efforts, can strengthen the efforts of individuals and organizations awarded the prize, and can inspire others. We should be celebrating our peace heroes. The more prizes the better.


What is not included in this list

Many prizes included in this list describe themselves as for ‘peace and justice’ or for ‘peace and nonviolence’ or something like this. I have only listed prizes that explicitly state they are for peace. There are a lot of social justice awards, nonviolence awards, human rights awards, humanitarian awards, and others, but none are included if they are not explicitly for peace.

There are many prizes that no longer exist or were just given once. Most of them are not included here. Some are, only if they are significant in some way. They are all organized into one section at the end of this article and the significance of each is explained there.

Also, prizes with very little information, conflicting information, or no website are not included. I found lots of these, and they have been excluded. One website for example just said they have been giving out a peace prize ‘yearly since 1979’ but there was no information about who got the prize, and no references to it on any other website. And who knows the last time they updated the website. In other cases I found online articles about the launch of a peace prize in 2003 for example and that they would give it out each year starting then. But then there exists no other information about it for 20 years. So these types of example have not been included as I can’t verify if they exist or not.


The 8 categories of Peace Prizes

72 Peace Prizes is a lot. So to help you navigate this and find what is of interest to you, I have organized the list into 8 categories:

  1. Peace Prizes with a broad focus
  2. Prizes for social cohesion and inter-religious harmony
  3. Peace Prizes for disarmament, demilitarization and war abolition
  4. Prizes for literature, science, and technology for peace
  5. Peace Prizes for governments and policies
  6. Peace Prizes for women and young people
  7. Peace Prizes with a specific geographic focus
  8. Notable Peace Prizes that no longer exist

These categories are in no particular order, but within each category , to make it simple I have ordered them by the oldest to the newest prizes. Some organizations give out multiple prizes, so I have organized them by organization, with descriptions of each organization, then descriptions of the prize or prizes they offer. A few organizations have prizes in more than one category, and in this case I have put them in the most relevant category with a reference in the other category so you can look back to find the prize you are looking for.

Descriptions of each organization and prize are straight and to the point. Some websites have lots of information; others very little. Also, in some cases the organization and the prize are one in the same, so the description has been combined. Links to prizes are inserted for each prize, but not the organization except for in cases where the link to the prize is not housed on the website of the organization that awards the prize.


The politics of Peace Prizes

Preparing this list required a lot of research, time, and organization. “What did I learn?” you may ask…

Well, as expected, peace is political. And the awarding of Peace Prizes is not a politically neutral endeavor. This is normal, and as a result you see great diversity in not only the types of prizes, but if you pay close attention you can also see great difference in the types of persons and organizations selected by each awarding organization.

Some organizations awarding Peace Prizes are more independent, but most have some affiliation with either a religious group, a political group or government, or activist networks. And you can imagine that the types of people awarded from each of these, depending on which specific group, to be different.

There are Peace Prizes awarded mostly to humanitarian organizations and individuals whereas it is unclear how they relate to peace. There are Peace Prizes awarded to radical activists. There are peace prizes awarded primarily to religious leaders.

I learned of a historic competition between European and North American aligned Peace Prizes and those associated with the former Soviet Union (see the Lenin Peace Prize). I even encountered a story about a US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) propaganda campaign against Peace Prizes associated with communist networks (see the World Peace Council Prizes). European and US prizes tend to promote European and US interests even when not explicit, while many prizes by Soviet and communist groups were often activists that resisted European colonial empires, civil rights activists challenging US government oppression, etc.

There is a huge divide between Peace Prizes awarded explicitly for disarmament, demilitarization, and war abolition (as the Nobel Peace Prize was in its early days), and those that focus explicitly on topics like harmony amongst people of the Earth.

Disclaimer: Review organizations that give any Peace Prize with a critical eye, recognizing any potential interests beyond the selection of award recipients. None of this means that any person or organization who has received any prize should be regarded with suspicion, it is only to say that those who give awards may have their own political perspective and/or interests.

On to the prizes. Drumroll please…


72 Peace Prizes organized across 8 categories

1. Peace Prizes with a broad focus

There are 18 international peace prizes awarded regularly, that have a broad focus. This means that those awarded prizes take a diverse array of approaches to build a more peaceful world in the general sense. Award recipients may be artists or activists, scientists or lawyers, authors, educators, journalists, musicians, politicians, and much more. Some awards are newer while others as you will see have been around for nearly 100 years.


The Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize (1931 – present) and the Youth Carnegie Peace Prize (2018 – present) | awarded by the Dutch Carnegie Foundation

Organization: The Dutch Carnegie Foundation owns and manages the Peace Palace (established 1903) which houses the International Court of Justice, the Permanent Court of Arbitration and The Hague Academy of International Law, all supported by our Peace Palace Library.

Award: The Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize is awarded “to those who have made themselves meritorious in the cause of peace.” It was awarded annually from 1931 – 2003, and bi-annually from 2004 to present, and is given to individuals and organizations that promote peace. The Youth Carnegie Peace Prize recognizes the work of young peacebuilders (age 18 – 29) and aims to inspire and encourage others to start their own projects. Prizes are given at awards ceremonies held in The Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands).


The Gandhi Peace Award (1960 – present) | awarded by Promoting Enduring Peace (PEP)

Organization: Promoting Enduring Peace was established in 1952 mainly to prevent another world war. They work to prevent war, and to address key threats to humanity like climate change and the risk of nuclear war. They host periodic meetings and other events to promote collaboration amongst people and organizations working for peace.

Award: The Gandhi Peace Award, named after Mahatma Gandhi, is given to an individual who has made significant contributions to promoting peace and nonviolence around the world. Notable winners of the award include Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Jr., A.J. Muste, U Thant, Dorothy Day, César Chávez, and many more.


Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award (1964 – present) | awarded by The Interracial Council of the Catholic Diocese of Davenport

Organization: The Davenport Catholic Interracial Council is a religious organization based in Davenport, Iowa.

Award: The Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award recognize individuals who have made remarkable contributions to peace and justice globally, transcending national boundaries to inspire a more harmonious world. The award has honored influential figures including John F. Kennedy, Dorothy Day, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Cesar Chavez, Desmond Tutu, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mother Teresa. Those who win the award are mostly religious leaders or affiliated with some religious group.


Teacher of Peace Award (1978 – present) | awarded by Pax Christi USA

Organization: Pax Christi USA is a Christian peacemaker organization. They operate a network of individual members in over 250 communities around the United States.

Award: The Teacher of Peace Award is given to individuals whose lives and work exemplify the theme of Pope Paul VI’s World Day of Peace message, “To reach peace, teach peace.” The award is given out every April at an event held in Washington, DC. The first award was given to Dorothy Day.


Right Livelihood Award (1980 – present)

Organization/Award: The Right Livelihood Award is sometimes described as the alternative Nobel Peace Prize. The award is given annually to organizations or individuals who have demonstrated “sustainable success in improving human or environmental conditions.” The recipients are selected by a jury made up of members from around the world who are nominated by their peers. The winner is announced every December at a ceremony held in Sweden’s Parliament House in Stockholm. Many influential figures have received the prize including Nelson Mandela, Wangari Maathai, Muhammad Yunus, Desmond Tutu, and Vandana Shiva.


The Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order (1988 – present) | awarded by The Grawemeyer Awards program at the University of Louisville

Organization: The Grawemeyer Awards program of the University of Louisville celebrate creativity and the transformative impact of great ideas in changing the world. These awards recognize outstanding individuals who have contributed to various fields, highlighting the importance of innovation and inspiration in shaping our society. There are seven different awards across different categories. One is related to peace.

Award: The Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order is a given to individuals who work to address crucial global issues and present viewpoints that have the potential to create a more just and peaceful world.


Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize (1991 – present) | awarded by UNESCO

Organization: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a global body dedicated to promoting peace and sustainable development through education, science, culture, and communication. They give out various awards and prizes each year.

Award: The Flix Houphout-Boigny Peace Prize recognizes individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to promoting peace in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the Constitution of UNESCO. This prize honors outstanding actions that mobilize people, foster understanding among nations, resolve conflicts, and uphold human rights.


Pax Christi International Peace Prize (1992 – present) | awarded by Pax Christi International

Organization: Pax Christi International is a Catholic peace movement with 120 member organizations worldwide. It aims to promote peace, human rights, justice, and reconciliation, addressing the root causes of violent conflict and working towards a peaceful world.

Award: The Pax Christi International Peace Prize honors men and women who stand up for peace, justice, and nonviolence across the globe. The peace prize is awarded annually to an individual or organization working against violence and injustice, usually at the grassroots level.


International Peace Award (1993 – present) | awarded by Community of Christ

Organization: The Community of Christ is a religious organization with members in more than 60 countries.

Award: The International Peace Award acknowledges individuals who have made significant efforts to pursue peace. Notable recipients of the award include conservationist Jane Goodall, activist Dolores Huerta, and peace scholar John Paul Lederach.


Sydney Peace Prize (1998 – present) | awarded by the Sydney Peace Foundation

Organization/Award: The Sydney Peace Prize is awarded to peacemakers that champion solutions to the most urgent global challenges and inspire us to be the change we want to see. It is given to a wide array of recipients. Some help families overcome poverty, champion the rights of Indigenous peoples, or fight racial oppression. Others promote social cohesion, protect the environment, promote nonviolence, or demand aggressors put down their weapons. It is given at an awards ceremony each year in Sydney, Australia.


Goi Peace Award and the Culture of Peace Special Award (2000 – present) | awarded by the Goi Peace Foundation

Organization: The Goi Peace Foundation of Japan seeks to foster a sustainable and harmonious global society by promoting consciousness, values and wisdom for creating peace, and building cooperation among individuals and organizations across diverse fields, including education, science, culture and the arts. They host events, education programs, and support research.

Award: The Goi Peace Award is awarded to honor individuals and organizations in various fields that have made outstanding contributions toward the realization of a peaceful and harmonious world. The award is presented annually at the Goi Peace Foundation Forum in Tokyo. The Culture of Peace Special Award is presented occasionally to honor individuals and organizations that have contributed to spreading and fostering a Culture of Peace around the world.


The Peace in Progress Award (2011 – present) | awarded by The International Catalan Institute for Peace (ICIP)

Organization: The International Catalan Institute for Peace (ICIP) promotes and spreads the culture of peace through public events, such as organizing seminars and conferences, giving research grants, announcing prizes and contests, or producing exhibitions and audiovisual materials.

Award: The Peace in Progress Award is recognises people, entities, or institutions that have worked and contributed prominently and extensively in promoting and constructing peace. The award ceremony takes place every year at an institutional ceremony at the Parliament of Catalonia, Spain.


Visionary of the Year Award (2011 –  present) | awarded by the Euphrates Institute

Organization: The Euphrates Institute trains and supports emerging peacebuilders worldwide. They have an in-depth training of one cohort of global emerging peace leaders each year and they operate a network of alumni and other grassroots peacebuilders peacebuilders.

Award: The Visionary of the Year Award recognizes peacebuilders doing extraordinary work at the grassroots level, striving to make the idealistic realistic and the impossible possible. The award is given each year to honor and spotlight their work.


Luxembourg Peace Prize (2012 – present) | awarded by the Schengen Peace Foundation and the World Peace Forum

Organization: The Schengen Peace Foundation was initiated in by His Royal Highness Henri the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. The Foundation is dedicated to peace, tolerance and understanding through multicultural dialogue. They host discussions, workshops, exhibits, events, and give out the Luxembourg Peace Prize each year.

Award: The Luxembourg Peace Prize is awarded to individuals and organizations that have made an exceptional contribution to international understanding and cooperation between peoples. The award ceremony takes place on November 9 each year – the day that marks the end of World War I, and the award is given out at a different European city each year. They give out between 3 and 12 awards each year, and it is different each year. And awards are classified into one of ten categories: peace activist, peace education, peace organization, public peace efforts, peace support, peace technology, youth peaceworker, peace process, peace journalism, environmental peace, art for peace and inner peace.


Sunhak Peace Prize (2015 – present) | awarded by the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee

Organization/Award: The Sunhak Peace Prize recognizes individuals who have sacrificed for peace, promoting reconciliation, coexistence and cooperation between diverse groups of people. The award ceremony is held biennially in Seoul, Korea. The prize is given to individuals who work specifically in one or more of the following three areas: respect for human development, conflict resolution, and ecological conservation.


The Aurora Prize (2016 – present) | awarded by The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative

Organization: The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative works to address humanitarian challenges around the world with the focus on helping the most destitute. It was founded on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors. It is named after Aurora Mardiganian, who survived the genocide and retold her experiences in a book and film (circa 1918-19) to tell the world about the horrors of the genocide.

Award: The Aurora Prize, officially titled The Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, is awarded every year to recognize and support individuals who courageously risk their own lives to raise awareness on behalf of persons affected by violence, atrocities, or human rights violations.


2. Prizes for social cohesion and inter-religious harmony

In this section there are 6 peace prizes for organizations and individuals promoting social cohesion or interfaith understanding. Most of the organizations sponsoring these are faith-based organizations, but not all.

See also: The Balzan Prize for Humanity, Peace, and Fraternity among Peoples in the section on ‘prizes in arts, literature, science and/or technology for peace’.


Niwano Peace Prize (1983 – present) and the Niwano Peace Prize Visionary Award  (2022 – present) | awarded by the Niwano Peace Foundation

Organization: The Niwano Peace Foundation works to support the realization of world peace and the enhancement of culture by promoting research and other activities, based on religious spirit and serving the cause of peace, in such fields as thought, culture, science, and education. They conduct three core activities: 1) programming to support faith-based organizations working for peace, 2) awards programs, and 3) grantmaking to support research and activities that foster peace.

Award: The Niwano Peace Foundation awards two peach prizes: the Niwano Peace Prize (NPP) and the Niwano Peace Prize Visionary Award (NPPVA). The NPP is awarded honors individuals and groups who are devoting themselves to interreligious cooperation in the cause of peace, and to publicize their achievements globally through domestic and international media. The presentation ceremony is held in Tokyo each May. The NPPVA is to honor and encourage individuals and promote the further development of organizations that, the are deemed to possess an as-yet-unrecognized promise of future development. It focuses on activities for peace that are pioneering, experimental, rooted in the community, and address specific issues relevant to the lives of community members.


Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence (1996 – present) | awarded by UNESCO

Organization: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a global body dedicated to promoting peace and sustainable development through education, science, culture, and communication. They give out various awards and prizes each year.

Award: The UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence recognizes outstanding efforts in scientific, artistic, cultural, and communication fields that promote tolerance and non-violence. The prize is awarded every two years on the International Day for Tolerance and celebrates individuals or organizations dedicated to fostering communal harmony, peace, and respect for universal human rights.


The Rick Love Peace Award and the Rick Love Young Innovators in Peacebuilding Award (2022 – present) | awarded by Peace Catalyst International

Organization: Peace Catalyst International is a Christian peace organization that works to help Christians understand their neighbors, connect with them across lines of difference, and ultimately collaborate with them to create communities where everyone can thrive.

Award: The Rick Love Peace Award is presented to an individual or group working specifically to bridge divides between Christians and Muslims. The Rick Love Young Innovators in Peacebuilding Award is presented to young people in university peace programs to jumpstart their work and provide them with a path to living out peace. These awards are presented at AfP’s PeaceCon.


3. Peace Prizes for disarmament, demilitarization and war abolition

Here are 11 peace prizes specifically for individuals and organizations working for disarmament, demilitarization or war abolition. While the original intention for the Nobel Peace Prize, fewer subsequent awards of the 72 outlined in this article have this specific focus.


WRL Peace Award, Grace Paley Lifetime Achievement Award and Ralph DiGia Award (1958 – present) | awarded by War Resisters League

Organization: the War Resisters League (WRL) is the US affiliate of War Resisters International (WRI). They have been committed to nonviolent action against war and exploitation since their founding in 1923. Through campaigns, trainings, resource sharing, and publications, WRL aims to inspire and empower people to create a more just and peaceful world.

Award: WRL delivers three awards to recognize individuals and organizations dedicated to radical nonviolent action in pursuit of peace. The awards are called the WRL Peace Award, the Grace Paley Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Ralph DiGia Award.


Distinguished Peace Leadership Award (1984 – present) | awarded by Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

Organization: The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation works for a nuclear-free, peaceful world. One of their main areas of concern is the issue of nuclear weapons, with a specific focus on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Award: The Distinguished Peace Leadership Award honors people who have made significant contributions to nuclear disarmament and/or peace in their communities. It is awarded at an annual ceremony held in Los Angeles every year. Past recipients include Desmond Tutu, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Jane Goodall and more!


Sean MacBride Peace Prize (1992 – present) | awarded by the International Peace Bureau (IPB)

Organization: The International Peace Bureau (IPB) is a historic peace activist organization working to build a world without war. They mobilize a network of organizations in over 70 countries, and they mobilize their network in advocacy campaigns for disarmament and war abolition. 13 of their members have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize since it was founded.

Award: The Sean MacBride Peace Prize is awarded each year to a person or organization that has done outstanding work for peace, disarmament and/or human rights. The prize was created in honor of Sean MacBride, former Chairman of IPB, and winners of the award are decided by the IPB Steering Committee.


OPCW–The Hague Award (2014 – present) | awarded by The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

Organization: The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) works towards the elimination of chemical weapons. Their activities promote the use of chemistry for peace. They publish lots of resources and host events associated with the elimination of chemical weapons.

Award: The OPCW was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013 in recognition of its efforts to eliminate chemical weapons. To honour this achievement, they established the OPCW-The Hague Award in partnership with the Municipality of The Hague. The award recognizes those who make outstanding achievements to achieving a world free from chemical weapons. It is awarded to academics and researchers, organizations, civil society groups, and chemical industry actors.


War Abolisher Awards (2021 – present) | awarded by World BEYOND War

Organization: World BEYOND War is an organization that leads a global nonviolent movement to end war and establish a just and sustainable peace. Their main focus is to work towards the abolition of war. They coordinate nonviolent action campaigns and publish a lot of content to support the global movement to abolish war.

Award: The annual War Abolisher Awards go to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions towards the abolition of war. They award 4 War Abolisher awards each year: The Individual War Abolisher Award, The Organizational War Abolisher Award, The David Hartsough Individual Lifetime War Abolisher Award, and The Organizational Lifetime War Abolisher Award.


The Real Nobel Peace Prize (TBD) | awarded by The Lay Down your Arms Association

Organization: The Lay Down your Arms Association was created to advocate for the Nobel Peace Prize to return to its original purpose. They believe that the Nobel Peace committee has strayed from the original vision for the prize by its founders Alfred Nobel and Bertha von Suttner, a vision more closely associated with demilitarization and war abolition. Their main project is The Nobel Peace Prize Watch.

Award: Ok, so I’m not certain about this one. I have seen some articles published by the founders of the Lay Down your Arms Foundation before, and at some point during the few years I was compiling this list I wrote down that they planned to launch a peace prize called ‘the real Nobel Peace Prize’ to be a prize awarded more in line with Alfred Nobels original intension for the Nobel Peace Prize (i.e. for demilitarization and war abolition). But in preparing this blog post, I couldn’t find any information on this award. So I’m not 100% sure that this one is going to be launched or not. I’m going to email the Lay Down Your Arms Association to see if they will launch something like this because I think it would be awesome.


4. Prizes in literature, science, and technology for peace

There are 14 peace prizes for individuals and organizations who promote peace through the literature, sciences or technology. Some are for books and publication, some for research, some for scientific discovery, and some for technological advances for peace.


Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards (1953 – present) | awarded by the Jane Addams Peace Association

Organization/Award: Named after social activist Jane Addams, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards recognize children’s books that promote peace, social justice, world community, and equality. In support of the vision of Jane Addams, the awards aim to honor books that inspire positive change and advocate for a more just and equitable society. Each year they give out two awards, one for books written for younger children, and one for books written for older children. The website includes links to all books awarded the prize since 1953 as well as a huge amount of teaching resources and lesson plans associated with the books.


The Balan Prizes and The Balzan Prize for Humanity, Peace, and Fraternity among Peoples (1961 – present) | awarded by the International Balan Prize Foundation

Organization: The International Balzan Prize Foundation promotes science used in the cause of humanity, peace, and fraternity among peoples throughout the world. They do this by awarding 5 different awards.

Award: The foundation awards four annual Balzan Prizes to scholars, scientists, and organizaitons who have made contributions to peace at the international level. Two of these prizes are dedicated to literature, moral sciences, and the arts; and two for physical, mathematical, and natural sciences, and medicine. The Balzan Prize for Humanity, Peace, and Fraternity among Peoples is a special prize awarded at intervals of no less than three years. It is awarded to a person or an organisation that has achieved distinction for outstanding humanitarian work.


Peace History Prizes (1987 – present) | awarded by the Peace History Society

Organization: Founded in 1964, The Peace History Society (PHS) is dedicated to promoting and preserving peace history, including the study of peace movements, nonviolent conflict resolution, and peacebuilding. It is a networks of scholars, teachers, activists, and others interested in peace to connect, discuss and collaborate on peace history research.

Award: The Peace History Society gives out four prizes. They are given out regularly, but not each prize is awarded every year. The Elise M. Boulding Prize in Peace History is awarded to the author of an outstanding English-language nonfiction book in the field of Peace History. The DeBenedetti Prize in Peace History is for an English language journal article, book chapter, or book introduction on peace history. The Bill Moyers Memorial Prize in Peace History is for a first book or a dissertation in English on a topic related to peace history. And the The Peace History Society Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded to a PHS member who has contributed outstanding scholarship and exemplary service to the Peace History Society and to peace history.


The Dayton Literary Peace Prize (2006 – present) | awarded by the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation

Organization/award: The Dayton Literary Peace Prize, presented by the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation, recognizes authors who use their literary works promote peace. The prize celebrates books that address issues such as racism, violence, prejudice, and inequality, with a focus on fostering understanding and peace in society. The foundation considers submission for fiction and nonfiction books published within the past year that have led readers to a better understanding of other cultures, peoples, religions, and political points of view.


The Leonard M. Rieser Award (2015 – present) | awarded by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Organization: The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is a publication and a collective of ‘atomic scientists’ that regularly publishes information on topics associated with nuclear war, nuclear weapons, and nuclear materials safety. They demystify the science of nuclear energy and weapons. Their mission is to equip the public, policymakers, and scientists with the information needed to reduce man-made threats to our existence.

Award: The Leonard M. Rieser Award recognizes outstanding emerging science and security experts passionate about advancing peace and security in our time. It is awarded to individuals who advance science and research that can protect humanity from nuclear war or otherwise address the world’s existential challenges.


Rapoport Peace Prize (2021 – present) | awarded by Safer Globe and the Anatoli Rapoport Peace Research Fund

Organization: Safer Globe is a Finnish organization that promotes peacebuilding and demilitarization.

Award: The Rapoport Peace Prize celebrates ground-breaking peace research. The prize is awarded to the author of the best Peace Studies Masters thesis of the year. The prize is granted based on criteria evaluating the scientific merits, multidisciplinary research approach, practical applicability, and forward-looking peace-restoring vision found in the thesis.


The Kluz Prize for PeaceTech (2022 – present) | awarded by Kluz Ventures

Organization: Kluz Ventures is an investment firm focused on empowering human flourishing and technological development by investing in revolutionary companies that aim to change the world.

Award: The Kluz Prize for PeaceTech seeks to uplift the contributions of individuals, organizations, and initiatives in utilizing innovative technologies to promote peace and mitigate conflict worldwide. The Prize seeks to encourage development and use of technology for a more peaceful and harmonious world for all.


5. Peace Prizes for governments and policies

There are two peace prizes for governments and policies that promote peace. One is an award for creative policy that promotes peace and the other is for government-led initiatives for peace.


Future Policy Award (2009 – present) | awarded by World Future Council

Organization: The World Future Council (WFC) works to build a healthy and sustainable planet with just and peaceful societies – now and in the future. To achieve this, they find and disseminate effective solutions to the problems that face humanity. There are four main workstreams. One of them is peace and disarmament.

Award: This is an interesting award, because it doesn’t go to an individual person or organization; it is awarded to celebrate a policy. Each year the Future Policy Award is given to honor effective policies that promote better living conditions for current and future generations. They say it is like the Oscar on best policies. Each year the council chooses a different topic to focus on relevant to what is happening in the world that year, then they go through a process to select the best law or policy (selected from all over the world). The award presentation includes a media campaign to raise awareness about the selected policy, in hopes that other governments worldwide might adopt similar policies.


UCLG Peace Prize (2016 – present)| awarded by United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)

Organization/Award: The UCLG Peace Prize is awarded to municipal governments to recognize initiatives they have led to build peace and build bridges within communities affected by violence. It aims to generate international public attention for the role local governments play in ensuring sustainable and peaceful development.


6. Peace Prizes for women and young people

There are 6 peace prizes specifically for women peacebuilders or young peacebuilders.

See also: The Youth Carnegie Peace Prize in the section on peace prizes with broad focus, and the Rick Love Young Innovators in Peacebuilding Award in the section on prizes for social cohesion and inter-religious harmony.


The Student Peace Prize (1999 – present) | awarded by the International Student Festival in Trondheim (ISFiT)

Organization: The International Student Festival in Trondheim (ISFiT) is the world’s largest international student festival held biennially in Trondheim, Norway. The festival brings together students from diverse backgrounds to engage in discussions and activities centered around a specific theme for each festival.

Award: The Student Peace Prize (SPP) is an initiative by volunteers from the International Student Festival in Trondheim (ISFiT). It is awarded biennially to a student or student organization working to promote peace, human rights and democracy. Students and student organisations from Libya, Myanmar, East Timor, Zimbabwe, Colombia, Thailand/Myanmar, Western Sahara, Croatia, Iran, Bahrain, South Africa and Turkey have received the prize.


International Children’s Peace Prize (2005 – present) | awarded by KidsRights

Organization: KidsRights (formerly International Child Rights Fund) works to protect children from all forms of exploitation. They offer programs and produce indices to measure how well child rights are respected worldwide.

Award: The International Children’s Peace Prize (ICPP) is awarded annually to a child who fights courageously for the protection and promotion of children’s rights.


The PACEY Award (2022 – present) | awarded by the Basel Peace Office

Organization: The Basel Peace Office was established to advance research, teaching and policy-development programs dedicated to international peace, conflict resolution and security to achieve the global abolition of nuclear weapons. They offer a range of events, webinars, and initiatives focused on nuclear disarmament, climate change, and peacebuilding.

Award: The PACEY Award (PACEY = Peace, nuclear Abolition and Climate Engaged Youth) is given to a young person between 18 and 25 who has made an outstanding contribution to peace, nuclear abolition or climate engagement.


Women Building Peace Award (2021 – present) | awarded by the United States Institute for Peace (USIP)

Organization: United States Institute for Peace (USIP) was founded by the U.S. Congress to advise US politicians on national and global security issues. It is a political organization with comprehensive marketing campaigns that work to influence public opinion (at home and abroad) to be more favorable towards US interventionism. It promotes an image of American government, military, and allies as a force for global good, while vilifying its enemies.

Award: The Women Building Peace Award is awarded to women who have made significant contributions to peacebuilding in countries affected by conflict. The award recognizes women whose work has had an impact on their communities and countries, helping to build social cohesion, trust between groups and individuals; preventing violence; creating space for dialogue; building sustainable livelihoods or protecting rights.


7. Peace Prizes with a specific geographic focus

There are six peace prizes awarded to individuals and organizations with a specific geographic focus. Most of them are for the United States.


The Ramon Magsaysay Award for Peace and International Understanding (1958 – present) | awarded by The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation

Organization/Award: The Ramon Magsaysay Award, presented by the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, is an honorific prize given to individuals from countries in Asia. It recognizes greatness of spirit shown in selfless service to the peoples of Asia. Awards are given across six different categories associated with making positive contributions to public or community life, especially in addressing social issues. One of the categories is on Peace and International Understanding, to recognize contributions to the advancement of friendship, tolerance, peace, and solidarity as the foundations for sustainable development within and across countries.


El-Hibri Peace Prize (2007 – present) | awarded by the El-Hibri Foundation

Organization: The El-Hibri Foundation is a philanthropic organization that promotes diversity and inclusion in the United States, inspired by the universally shared values of Islam. They invest in individuals and organizations that work to build an inclusive America by advancing peace and respect for diversity.

Award: The El-Hibri Peace Prize is awarded annually to individuals who have dedicated their lives to building inclusive communities in the United States and building the capacity of others to lead and create positive social change. It is awarded to prominent community organizers, scholars, and activists. Notable winners include peace educator Betty A. Reardon, interfaith leader Eboo Patel, nonviolent scholar Gene Sharp, and nonviolent peace activist Colman McCarthy.


US Peace Prize (2009 – present) | awarded by the US Peace Memorial Foundation

Organization: The US Peace Memorial Foundation is US-based nonprofit that was established to honor Americans who stand for peace.

Award: The US Peace Prize was established to recognize and honor the most outstanding American antiwar leaders. It is awarded each year to individuals and organizations that publicly oppose (US and other) military interventions such as invasion, occupation, production of weapons of mass destruction, use of weapons, threats of war, or other actions that threaten peace.


The Peace Champion Award, The Local Peacebuilder Award and the Melanie Greenberg Award (2018 – present) | awarded by the Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP)

Organization: The Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP) is a Washington D.C. based group that promotes US interests through management of a global network of peacebuilding organizations. Board members, staff and fellows have close involvement with US government, political groups, corporations, and some military institutions.

Award: AfP gives out three peacebuilding awards each year at PeaceCon, their yearly conference. The Peacebuilding Champion Award honors members of the U.S. Congress. The Melanie Greenberg Award recognizes individuals and organizations making peacebuilding contributions in the United States. And The Local Peacebuilder Award honors grassroots peacebuilders around the world. While this last one is technically for peacebuilders worldwide, it is still classified as a prize with specific geographic focus (the USA). Since AfP operates in the promotion of US interests, selection and awarding of the prize is oriented in a way that too is in promotion of US interests.


8. Notable Peace Prizes that no longer exist

There are many peace prizes I reviewed that no longer exist. Most were small and were awarded to individuals and organizations that promoted peace in the general sense. But there were a few that were notable for specific reasons, and I’ve included them as a result. This section is organized as above and each prize includes an explanation of why the prize is notable, and thus included in this list.


Lenin Peace Prize (1957 – 1990) | awarded by the government of the former Soviet Union

Organization: Awarded by the government of the former Soviet Union.

Award: The Lenin Peace Prize, officially called the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Peoples, was named in honor of Vladimir Lenin. Each year it was awarded to several people in recognition of their efforts to build peace among nations, nationalities and peoples.

Why it is notable: At the link above you can see the list of persons awarded the prize. It is interesting to review the list because many of the recipients of the prize are quite different from those who have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize or other longstanding prizes. It is indicative of the competition between the Soviet Union and European-North American powers. It was awarded to many activists working to overthrow European and American colonial rule, socialist politicians, writers critical of US imperialism, and radical civil rights activists in the USA.


World Peace Council Prizes (1950 – 1990) | awarded by the World Peace Council

Organization: The World Peace Council (WPC) is an anti-imperialist, democratic, independent and non-aligned international movement of mass action for peace and justice with affiliates in over 100 countries. They stand in solidarity with and support peoples and liberation movements fighting for the independence, sovereignty and integrity of their countries, and against imperialism. It was founded by international networks of communist organizations and are still active today, based in Athens, Greece.

Award: There were five World Peace Council Prizes. The International Peace Prize was awarded for art, literature, film, or industrial work which advanced the cause of peace. There was also a related Honarary International Peace Prize, a posthumous award. There was also an award called the Joliot-Curie Medal of Peace and another called the Ho Chi Minh Award, not clear what the focus of these was. And finally there was the Amilcar Cabral Award for contributions to the struggle against imperialism and colonialism.

Why it is notable: Here is another award that illuminates the history of political competition between awards that promote European-North American interests and those that were more aligned with Soviet or communist political philosophies. The WPC and associated peace prizes were launched and led by very international networks of communist groups, also with involvement of anti-colonial groups, socialist groups, labor groups, and others. There is a story you can find via the links above of a US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) propaganda initiative against the WPC.


Albert Einstein Peace Prize (1980 – 1992) | awarded by the Albert Einstein Peace Prize Foundation

Organization/award: The Albert Einstein Peace Prize was an annual award established by the Albert Einstein Peace Prize Foundation. The foundation was inspired by the Russell-Einstein Manifesto advocating for nuclear disarmament. The prize was mainly given to individuals actively involved in nuclear disarmament efforts.

Why it is notable: There are few prizes explicitly for nuclear disarmament or disarmament in general. This was a huge focus of earlier global peace movements, and influential figures like Einstein and Alfred Nobel, but due to political interference and corruption, this focus has been lost in prominent peace prizes.


UNESCO Prize for Peace Education (1981 – 2008) | awarded by UNESCO

Organization: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a global body dedicated to promoting peace and sustainable development through education, science, culture, and communication. They give out various awards and prizes each year.

Award: The UNESCO Prize for Peace Education was awarded to individuals and organizations who led exemplary peace education initiatives, or who produced academic content that advanced the global peace education movement.

Why it is notable: Today there are no internationally recognized prizes or awards for peace education. There should be.


The N-Peace Awards (2011 – 2019) | awarded by the N-Peace Network, a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) initiative

Organization/award: The N-Peace awards honored women peacebuilders in the Asia-Pacific region who bring issues affecting women and girls into the spotlight. Three different types of awards were given out, one for youth, one for campaigning, and one for storytelling.

Why it is notable: There are few awards for women peacebuilders. Also, the initiative was founded in 2010 to commemorate a decade of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR 1325) implementation via the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. Sometimes these big, top-down initiatives are not sustainable. They are great, but just not sustainable.


You see these Peace Prizes, now what?

I hope this list of Peace Prizes is helpful for you. I hope you found something of interest and found some peace heroes (that have won peace prizes) that inspire you. Perhaps you got some creative ideas for how you can build peace or that you can apply to any effort for peace that you are involved in. Perhaps you can nominate some amazing individuals or organizations for one or more of these awards.

Did I miss anything? Are there any Peace Prizes that should be included in this list? If so, please add them in the comments below. I reviewed over 100 Peace Prizes for this, and some of them didn’t make the list for abovementioned reasons (little information, no website, no longer active, etc.).

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