Founders

Dagmar Havlová

She is a popular and award-winning Czech theatre, film and television actress. After marrying President Václav Havel in 1997, she accompanied him on official engagements as first lady and was actively engaged in charity work. In 1997 she founded the Dagmar and Václav Havel Foundation VIZE 97, of which she is chairwoman of the Board of Trustees. She is a member of Femmes d’Europe and is honorary chairwoman of the Czech Committee for UNICEF. She is an active member of several other Czech and international charity organisations. Alongside her charity work she has recently returned to acting. More information: http://www.havlova-veskrnova.com/

Karel Schwarzenberg

As chairman of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights he advocated for adherence to human rights in Europe in the 1980s. He returned to his homeland in the autumn of 1989 and on 10.7.1990 was appointed chancellor to President Václav Havel. In 1992 he led the first OSCE delegation to Nagorno Karabakh following the outbreak of war between Armenia and Azerbaijan. He stepped down as chancellor in the same year. In recent years he served as Czech minister of foreign affairs and is at present a member of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. More information: http://www.karelschwarzenberg.cz/

Miloslav Petrusek

A respected professor of sociology, he worked at the Institute of Social Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University from the year 2000. He was visiting professor at Brno’s Masaryk University and external lecturer at the Department of Cultural Studies and Sociology at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University. From 2001 he was chairman of the Masaryk Czech Sociological Association. He also worked as an expert for the World Bank in the field of modernising sociology teaching in Russia. He died in 2012. More information: http://www.petrusek.cz/

Speech on receiving the Indira Gandhi Prize, New Delhi

„Many Europeans and Americans today are painfully aware of the fact that Euro-American civilization has undermined and destroyed the autonomy of non-European cultures. They feel it was their fault, and thus feel they have to make amends through a kind of emotional identification with others, through accommodating them, through trying to ingratiate themselves, through a longing to “help” them in one way or another. To my mind, this is a false way of going about it… It contains… the same familiar feeling of superiority… It is inverted colonialism. It is an intellectual spasm. I think we will all help one another best if we make no pretences, remain ourselves, and simply respect and honour one another, just as we are. “

Václav Havel:
Speech on receiving the Indira Gandhi Prize, New Delhi, February 8, 1994

What Price Human Rights?