Germany and several other countries launched a campaign Tuesday to create a human rights logo that would serve as a universal symbol like the peace sign or a heart signifying love.
The international campaign is hoping for a wide array of entries that can be submitted over the Internet and must be received by July 31. The winner will be announced in September and will be awarded a €5,000 ($7,300) prize.
Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is one of several leading human rights activists supporting the campaign. A jury comprising the Myanmar pro-democracy leader and 28 others will pick the best 10 entries, and those will then be put to a public vote on the Internet.
"We can never do enough to try to increase awareness of human rights in our world," Suu Kyi said in a prerecorded video message. "We hope this logo will bring it home to people everywhere that our basic needs are the same wherever we may live, whatever we may strive."
Canada, Chile, Indonesia, Singapore, Senegal, Uruguay, Mauritius, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Czech Republic helped develop an Internet platform to accept the submissions.
There are few requirements for submissions, only that they be printable and contain no text other than the words "human rights." Organizers say it doesn't have to be professionally designed — it could even be drawn in the sand and photographed.
Somali-born model and human rights activist Waris Dirie, another jury member, says she will be "looking for a beautiful symbol that you will worship like the sun."
Anton Duchrow, a 24-year-old environmental engineering student in Berlin welcomed the idea as a quick, easy way to get a message across.
"A logo spreads a message fast and is easy to understand," Duchrow said.
On the Internet:
- Aung San Suu Kyi
- Waris Dirie
- environmental engineering student
- the Czech Republic