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Meet the Judges for the 2024 Language Rights Defenders Award

Updated: Mar 25

The Global Coalition for Language Rights (GCLR) is delighted to announce the judges for the first annual Language Rights Defenders Award. In addition to these four outstanding expert judges, a fifth vote will also be given to the GCLR co-chairs. For more on the award, including information about how to make a nomination, please follow the links below.

Robert Phillipson

By PicMirandole - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, 

Robert Phillipson is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Management, Society and Communication at Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. He is one of the founding scholars in the field of language rights, and has also been a lifelong advocate for language rights. Much of his work has focused on issues related to multilingual education, language policy, and the global role of English. He has been a visiting scholar at the Institute of Education at the University of London (1983), the University of Melbourne in Australia (1994), the Central Institute of Indian Languages in Mysore (1995), the University of Pecs in Hungary (1996) and the Center for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Cambridge (2005). He is the author of over 150 articles, chapters, and books, and his key published works include the Handbook of Linguistic Human Rights (2023) and Linguistic Imperialism (1992). In 2010, Robert was awarded the Linguapax International Award in recognition of his advocacy for “multilingual education as a factor of peace and of linguistic rights against cultural and linguistic homogenization processes.” Throughout his career, Robert has made frequent media appearances to advocate for policy reform that would respect and uphold the language rights of vulnerable communities. Together with his late wife, Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Robert has inspired and guided a whole generation of scholars and activists all around the world to protect and promote language rights for all. 

Jakelin Troy

Jakelin Troy is Ngarigu of the Snowy Mountains in south eastern Australia, and is currently working with her own community to bring back the use of Ngarigu language, beginning with song and cultural practices. She is Professor, Director, Indigenous Research at The University of Sydney. Her career has focussed on supporting Indigenous communities to continue using their languages and to bring back into everyday use languages that have not been spoken by their communities for generations. Jaky has been a lead writer for new curriculum in schools in Australia that has provided a platform for the teaching of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and addressing the long-term state prejudice against Indigenous languages in Australia. Her pioneering work on The Australian Curriculum Languages – Framework for Teaching Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages and the NSW Aboriginal Languages Syllabus K-10 are steps towards turning around the prejudice against Australian Indigenous languages in schools and the hegemony of English in Australian education. She is now working with Mujahid Torwali of the Torwali community in North Pakistan to his support his work documenting and describing Torwali for use in educating the community in and about their own language.

Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún

Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún is a Nigerian writer and linguist, whose work in literature, linguistics, lexicography, and in language advocacy puts Africa as its primary focus. His work in language advocacy earned him the Premio Ostana Special Prize in Italy in 2016. He has published two collections of poetry, one of which is poetry-in-translation, and founded a dictionary of Yorùbá names. He is currently the African co-editor of The Best Literary Translations Anthology forthcoming in 2024 via Deep Vellum, and continues to work in research, technology, literature, and education, to enhance the status of African languages in the world today. He has been a Fulbright Scholar at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a Chevening Research Fellow at the British Library in London. His work has been published in African Writer, Aké Review, Brittle Paper, International Literary Quarterly, Enkare Review, Maple Tree Literary Supplement, PEN Transmissions, Jalada, Popula, Saraba Magazine, and The Guardian, among others. He is the African co-editor of The Best Literary Translations annual anthology. He is also passionate about translation, and you can find him at

Miryam Yataco

Miryam Yataco is a sociolinguist, educator, and language rights activist from Peru. Born in Lima, she grew up with a Quechua-speaking mother and witnessed first-hand the language discrimination faced by Quechua people. One of her key achievements in promoting language rights is her involvement with Peru’s Law 29735, which regulates the use, preservation, development, recovery, and promotion of the native languages of Peru. Yataco has worked with Indigenous people in the Peruvian Congress as a congressional assistant in matters of language rights. With her multilingual skills and training in ethnography, Yataco has participated in several projects defending the use of indigenous languages in the Andes, Mexico, and other parts of the world. Her work has involved close collaboration with well-known language rights advocates such as Joshua FishmanFernand de Varennes, Mayan scholar Fidencio Briceno, and Native American scholars such as Gabrielle Tayac (Piscataway Nation) and Daniel Wildcat. In 2019 she participated in events for the International Year of Indigenous Languages at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence Kansas, and with the Native American Studies program at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is a staunch defender of the language rights of the Aymara and Quechua people in Peru. Ms. Yataco established and oversees the Language Rights, Derechos Linguisticos, Lenguas en riesgo Facebook group, which has over 14,000 members and is one of the most active online forums for discussing language rights. She has served as an educator in Indonesia, Mexico, and the USA, and belongs to a network of Indigenous scholars and activists working to promote Native American and Indigenous sovereignty and resurgence.   

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