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List of Famous Human Rights Activists

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List of famous human rights activists, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top human rights activists in the world? This includes the most prominent human rights activists, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable human rights activists is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic human rights activists were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned human rights activists.

List contains people who fight and fought for human rights like Malcolm X and Juliette Binoche. Featuring famous human rights leaders of history and the present, this list has it all. 

From reputable, prominent, and well known human rights activists to the lesser known human rights activists of today, these are some of the best professionals in the human rights activist field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous human rights activists ever?" and "What are the names of famous human rights activists?" then you're in the right place. 
  • 1

    Malcolm X

    Dec. at 40 (1925-1965)

    BirthplaceNorth Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska, United States of America


    Malcolm X (May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965) was an American Muslim minister and human rights activist who was a popular figure during the civil rights movement. He is best known for his...  more

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  • 2

    Andrei Sakharov

    Dec. at 68 (1921-1989)

    BirthplaceMoscow, Russia


    Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov (Russian: Андре́й Дми́триевич Са́харов; 21 May 1921 – 14 December 1989) was a Russian nuclear physicist, dissident, Nobel laureate, and activist for disarmament, peace and...  more
  • 3

    Harry Wu

    Age: 83

    BirthplaceShanghai, China


    Harry Wu (Chinese: 吴弘达; pinyin: Wú Hóngdá; February 8, 1937 – April 26, 2016) was a Chinese-American human rights activist. Wu spent 19 years in Chinese labor camps, and he became a resident and...  more
  • 4

    BirthplaceParis, France


    Juliette Binoche (born 9 March 1964) is a French actress, artist, and dancer. She has appeared in more than 60 feature films, been the recipient of numerous international awards, and has appeared on...  more

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  • 5

    Coretta Scott King

    Dec. at 79 (1927-2006)

    BirthplaceHeiberger, Alabama, United States of America


    Coretta Scott King (née Scott; April 27, 1927 – January 30, 2006) was an American author, activist, civil rights leader, and the wife of Martin Luther King Jr. An active advocate for African-American...  more
  • 6

    Adam Yauch

    Dec. at 48 (1964-2012)

    BirthplaceBrooklyn Heights, New York City, New York, United States of America


    Adam Nathaniel Yauch (pronounced ; August 5, 1964 – May 4, 2012) was an American rapper and filmmaker who was a founding member of the hip hop group Beastie Boys. He used the stage name MCA. Yauch...  more

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  • 7

    BirthplaceTehran, Iran


    Nazanin Boniadi (; Persian: نازنین بنیادی‎ [nɑzæˈniːn bonjɑˈdiː]; (born 22 May 1979) is an Iranian-British actress and human rights defender....  more

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  • 8

    Avigdor Feldman

    Avigdor Feldman (Hebrew: אביגדור פלדמן‎, born 7 July 1948), is an influential civil and human rights lawyer in Israel....  more
  • 9

    Aminatou Haidar

    Age: 54

    BirthplaceTata Province


    Aminatou Ali Ahmed Haidar (Arabic: أحمد علي حيدر أميناتو‎; born 24 July 1966), sometimes known as Aminetou, Aminatu or Aminetu, is a Sahrawi human rights activist and an advocate of the independence...  more
  • 10

    BirthplaceJapan, Kagoshima


    Teruaki Masumoto (増元照明, b. October 5, 1955 in Kagoshima Prefecture -) is the secretary general of the Japanese Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea, which advocates for...  more
  • 11

    Viktor Popkov

    Dec. at 55 (1946-2001)

    BirthplaceKrasnodar, Russia


    Viktor Alekseyevich Popkov (Russian: Ви́ктор Алексе́евич Попко́в; June 17, 1946 – June 2, 2001) was a Russian dissident, Christian, humanitarian, human rights activist and journalist. A deeply...  more
  • 12

    Liu Xiaobo

    Age: 64

    BirthplaceChangchun, China


    Liu Xiaobo (Chinese: 刘晓波, 28 December 1955 – 13 July 2017) was a Chinese writer, literary critic, human rights activist, philosopher and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who called for political reforms...  more
  • 13

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, USA


    Heather Laurie Holden (born December 17, 1969) is an American actress, producer, model, and human rights activist. She is known for her roles as Marita Covarrubias in The X-Files (1996–2002), Adele...  more

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  • 14

    Rosie Malek-Yonan

    Age: 55

    BirthplaceTehran, Iran


    Rosie Malek-Yonan (b. July 4, 1965) is an Assyrian-American actress, author, director, public figure and activist. Malek-Yonan became a noted pianist at an early age. Having graduated from the...  more
  • 15

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America


    Satchel Ronan O'Sullivan Farrow (born December 19, 1987) is an American journalist, lawyer, and former government adviser. Farrow is the son of actress Mia Farrow and Woody Allen. In late 2017,...  more

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  • 16

    Andrew Koenig

    Dec. at 42 (1968-2010)

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, USA


    Alternative NameAndrew Koenig^! Joshua Koenig^! Andrew Koening

    Joshua Andrew Koenig () (August 17, 1968 – c. February 16, 2010) was an American character actor, film director, editor, writer, and human rights activist....  more
  • 17

    BirthplaceSeredyna-Buda, Ukraine


    Sergei Adamovich Kovalyov (also spelled Sergey Kovalev; Russian: Серге́й Ада́мович Ковалёв; born 2 March 1930) is a Russian human rights activist and politician and a former Soviet dissident and...  more
  • 18

    Vann Nath

    Dec. at 65 (1946-2011)

    BirthplaceBattambang Province, Cambodia


    Vann Nath (Khmer: វ៉ាន់ណាត; 1946 – September 5, 2011) was a Cambodian painter, artist, writer, and human rights activist who was one of a diverse group of writers from 22 countries to receive the...  more
  • 19

    BirthplaceBelgrade, Serbia


    Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia (Serbian: Kneginja Jelisaveta Karađorđević / Кнегиња Јелисавета Карађорђевић; born 7 April 1936) is a member of the House of Karageorgevich, a human rights activist...  more
  • 20

    BirthplaceLahore, Pakistan


    Asma Jilani Jahangir (Urdu: عاصمہ جہانگیر‎, romanized: ʿĀṣimah Jahāṉgīr; 27 January 1952 – 11 February 2018) was a Pakistani human rights lawyer and social activist who co-founded and chaired the...  more
  • 21

    BirthplaceBudapest, Hungary


    Kati Marton (born April 3, 1949) is a Hungarian-American author and journalist. Her career has included reporting for ABC News as a foreign correspondent and National Public Radio, where she started...  more
  • 22

    BirthplaceAtlanta, Georgia, United States of America


    Elisabeth Williams-Omilami (born February 18, 1951) is an American human rights activist and an actress....  more
  • 23

    Yolanda King

    Dec. at 52 (1955-2007)

    BirthplaceMontgomery, Alabama


    Yolanda Denise King (November 17, 1955 – May 15, 2007) was an African American activist and first-born child of civil rights leaders Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King. She was also...  more
  • 24

    BirthplaceTehran, Iran


    Maziar Bahari (Persian: مازیار بهاری‎; born May 25, 1967) is an Iranian Canadian journalist, film maker and human rights activist. He was a reporter for Newsweek from 1998 to 2011. Bahari was...  more
  • 25

    BirthplaceTucson, Arizona, United States of America


    Ben Patrick Johnson (born June 30, 1969 in Tucson, Arizona) is an American voice actor, author and blogger, Foundation Director, and human rights activist....  more