Gdańsk Equality Awards handed out. Interview with dr Tomasz Snarski

The Gdańsk Equality Award was inspired by the Gdańsk Equality Council, set up by Mayor Paweł Adamowicz. The originator of the Award is dr Tomasz Snarski from the Faculty of Law and Administration of UG, who was a member of the first composition of the Council. For the first time in history, the Gdańsk Equality Award was presented on December 10, 2017, International Human Rights Day. It is awarded to people who have made a special contribution to building Gdańsk as an open, friendly city where every person can find their home and feel safe.

To whom is the Gdańsk Equality Award given?

Dr Tomasz Snarski: I intended to create an award that would be an important distinction for people involved in human rights and, at the same time, a tool for social education. I wanted the annual granting of the award by the City of Gdańsk to contribute to the appreciation and promotion of positive examples of social involvement for the benefit of others. I wanted the Gdańsk prize to show that working for equality, and in a broader perspective for human rights, is in a sense the quintessence of the ideals of Gdańsk solidarity. Equality should not be just a slogan or a catchphrase, but a concrete principle, both in law and in people's hearts. The best way to teach is through concrete examples and activities, which the award aims to promote.

Where did the idea come from to award such a prize in Gdańsk?

Dr Tomasz Snarski: The idea for the award was born when I took part in the work of the Gdańsk Equal Treatment Council, set up by Mayor Paweł Adamowicz. I am convinced that, above all, through education and upbringing, we can increase public awareness of human rights and the obligation to care for them. At that time I also proposed, in addition to the Gdańsk Prize for Equality, the organisation of Gdańsk Human Rights Days. I am glad that these initiatives have been adopted and I hope that they will be developed.

In your opinion, do we still have a lot to do in terms of equal treatment?

Dr Tomasz Snarski: In Poland, we still have a lot to do in terms of equality and ensuring a high level of respect for human rights. There will always be such a need. Awareness of human rights and respect for them are not given once and for all, we need to constantly strive for them. It is worth noting that both the nominees and this year's laureates demonstrate through their actions as many different possibilities for involvement in the promotion of human rights as possible. And that was the point. Unequal treatment can apply to a wide variety of groups, but what it comes down to is respect for the dignity of every human being.

The Paweł Adamowicz Gdańsk Equality Award statuette, diploma and cash prize for the 2020 activities were awarded to:

- Adriana Dadci Smoliniec - Polish judoka, European champion and Olympic athlete;

- Khedi Alieva - expert in the field of integration and intercultural dialogue;

- Izabela Duczyńska - legal adviser, since 2012 cooperating with the Women's Rights Centre Foundation and other NGOs.

More information about the Gdańsk Equality Award:,a,199137.

Julia Bereszczyńska/Press Office of University of Gdańsk