Freedom of expression and freedom to publish are human rights under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Yet freedom to publish is under continuous, sustained daily attack, with writers and publishers vilified, jailed, tortured and killed merely for doing their jobs. In 2005, the IPA created the Freedom to Publish Prize to honour a person or organization adjudged to have made a significant contribution to the defence and promotion of freedom to publish in the world. In 2016, the prize was renamed the IPA Prix Voltaire, in tribute to the French philosopher and writer François-Marie Arouet (penname Voltaire), who propounded a doctrine of tolerance and free expression before the terms were in general use. Moreover, between 1755 and 1759 Voltaire lived in Geneva, Switzerland, where the IPA is based, before moving to the nearby French border town of Ferney, which was renamed Ferney-Voltaire in his honour after the French Revolution.
The IPA Prix Voltaire currently consists of CHF 10,000 and a certificate, presented by the IPA President during the biennial International Publishers Congress.
The IPA Prix Voltaire is possible thanks to generous contributions from the following sponsors:
- Albert Bonniers Förlag
- Oxford University Press
- Penguin Random House
- Simon & Schuster
- Springer Nature
Who can nominate?
IPA members, Freedom to Publish Committee members, publishers and publishing houses, international, professional and non-governmental organizations with interest in freedom of expression can nominate candidates for the IPA Prix Voltaire.
How to nominate?
Six to eight months before the IPA Prix Voltaire, the IPA issues a call for nominations and posts a downloadable nomination form on this website. Nominations need to include a comprehensive justification, preferably in English, but certainly in one of the official IPA languages (English, French, German and Spanish), and should be submitted by email to IPA Director of Communications and Freedom to Publish, Ben Steward
Support the IPA Prix Voltaire
The IPA Prix Voltaire is possible thanks to the generous sponsorship of individuals, companies and publishing houses that share the values that this unique freedom of expression prize seeks to honour. As such, the IPA is working to increase the impact and stature of the IPA Prix Voltaire – including by raising the prize money – and welcomes any contribution, no matter how small (or large!).
Contributions to the IPA Prix Voltaire fund can be made using the following account details:
Bank: CREDIT SUISSE, 1211 Geneva 70, Switzerland
Account N°: 0271-651228-61-6
A/c Name: IPA FREEDOM TO PUBLISH PRIZE
IBAN: CH11 0427 1065 1228 6100 6
SWIFT code: CRESCHZZ12D