On 21 July 2019, Greta Thunberg received the Freedom Prize during a moving ceremony. It was an opportunity for Greta to come to Normandy and meet the veteran Charles Norman Shay on Omaha Beach, himself very careful to environmental issues. A meaningful meeting which concludes a 1st Freeom Prize that implied a large commitment of young people around the world.

The commitment of youngsters worldwide

Thousands of young people, from various countries, were involved in this Freedom Prize.

Up to

850 youngsters

from 14 countries proposed young people committed to freedom : France, Burkina Faso, Canada, Colombia, United States, Jersey, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine.


The judges consisted of 

30 youngsters

in which 11 Normans, 7 French people from other regions and 12 people from worldwide amongst 63 applications.

Discover the judges in 2019

And also 

4015 youngsters

from 64 countries voted for the winner.

The transmission of the fight for freedom

The significant program for youth is not the less sponsored by three veterans ready to pass on the baton: the French veterans Bernard Dargols and Léon Gautier and the Amerindian veteran Charles-Norman Shay. The Prize also benefits from support of teachers that involved their students in this adventure. 95 files have in fact been created as part of an academic work. 



Various fights for freedom

Focused on exchanges and sharing, the Prize highlights various fights for freedom. The judges selected three finalists amongst 113 proposals: the Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, the Chinese photojournalist Lu Guang and the Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

  • Greta Thunberg 41,8%
  • Raif Badawi 37,2 %
  • Lu Gang 19,9 %



A key moment for the Normandy World Peace Forum 2019, the speech of Ensaf Haidar highlighted the fight of her husband, Raif Badawi, defender of freedom of expression, currently imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.

More than ever, I believe in freedom of expression for each person and I am ready to defend this right against those who do not agree with me. This may be the only richness that my children will inherit from their father. An invaluable richness, that cannot be sold or bought. To say no to everything that violate the dignity and the Human rights

The video of the Freedom Prize ceremony 

  • Greta Thunberg received the Freedom Prize on 21 July, the opportunity to meet Charles Norman Shay, veteran careful of environmental issues.
  • The award ceremony of the Prize organised by the Normandy Region, gathered the winner, veterans, and youngster from Normandy and around the world.
  • Bernard Dargols, Léon Gautier and Charles-Norman Shay sponsored the Freedom Prize 2019.
  • Veterans were rewarded for their fight for freedom during the 75th D-Day anniversary.
  • Ensaf Haidar, wife of the finalist Raif Badawi, gave a moving speech to defend freedom of expression.
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