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The Moore Prize: The 2023 Shortlist

Books Dedicated to Human Rights

The Christopher G. Moore Foundation is delighted to announce a shortlist of six books that are outstanding in their coverage of crucial human rights concerns across the world. The 2023 shortlist incorporates a range of topics from grand narratives to personal perspectives, encompassing civil and political rights as well as socio-economic rights issues. Each is compelling in its poignancy and novel approach to telling its story.

Chosen from a longlist of 14 books by our jury: senior lecturer of Human Rights at Columbia University, Dr Jackie Dugard; Professor in Law and Islamic Studies, University of Galway, Roja Fazaeli; and Human Rights barrister, academic, author and broadcaster, Geoffrey Robertson, KC, the shortlisted titles are as follows:

  • Heriberto Araujo – Masters of the Lost Land: Murder and Corruption in the Amazon Rainforest – Atlantic Books. The gripping true story of the fight for human, economic and environmental justice raging in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.
  • Benjamin Black – Belly Woman: Birth, Blood & Ebola – The Untold Story – Neem Tree Press. A doctor’s harrowing account of helping pregnant women give birth in the midst of the Ebola epidemic and Covid 19 pandemic in Sierra Leone, 2014-2020.
  • Antony Loewenstein – The Palestine Laboratory: How Israel Exports the Technology of Occupation Around the World – Verso Books.  An exposé of how Israel’s military-industrial complex uses the occupied Palestinian territories as a testing ground for weaponry and surveillance technology that they then export around the world to despots and democracies.
  • Yeva Skalietska – You Don’t Know What War Is: The Diary of a Young Girl from Ukraine – Bloomsbury Children’s Books.  The moving diary of a young Ukrainian refugee, as she lives through the first days of the war that changed her life forever. 
  • Saket Soni – The Great Escape: A True Story of Forced Labour and Immigrant Dreams in America – Algonquin Books.   Focusing on the plight of 500 Indian workers, this is an eye-opening story of the one of the largest human trafficking cases in modern American history and the workers’ heroic journey for justice.
  • Gaia Vince – Nomad Century: How to Survive the Climate Upheaval – Allen Lane, Penguin Random House. An urgent and shocking analysis of how climate change will affect the world’s migration patterns.

Foundation Founder, Christopher G. Moore says: 

“In an era marked by the impact of war and climate change upheaval, the six shortlisted authors have written books that focus the reader’s attention on the human rights issues caused by dislocation, repression and occupation, along with the dark side of modern technology used as an instrument of violence and terror.  

From Sierra Leone to Gaza and Ukraine, these books will transport you to the inside of a world where ordinary lives are no longer protected by international human rights laws and where they and their children are forced to struggle against powerful forces which ignore their rights. 

“I urge all readers to read these six books for their insights, analysis, and relevance to a world less safe than it was when we announced last year’s shortlist.”

The Jury commented: 

“It was indeed a privilege for us to have such a range of compelling and poignant stories to read when we were presented with the longlist.  As a jury, we were inspired by reading these books, each of which take the reader beyond what is examined in the media, to broaden and deepen their understanding of the sometimes horrific circumstances that many of our fellow global citizens live with every day. The quality of writing combined with experience in the field make this an excellent list.  It was very difficult to choose only 6….it may be almost impossible to single out one of this final group to be this year’s winner.”

The Moore Prize was established in 2015 to provide funds and recognition to authors who, through their work, contribute to the universality of human rights and to give a platform to human rights issues that are important in our current societies. This unique initiative is awarded annually, as chosen by a panel of judges whose own work focuses on human rights.

The winning book will be announced on Wednesday, 10 January 2024. The winner of the prize will receive £1000. Homepage here.

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