Hilton Humanitarian Prize

2011 Laureate

Handicap International

Handicap International

Handicap is the largest international NGO of its kind, specializing in assisting all acutely vulnerable populations.

From tragedy to hope

In 1982, two idealistic young doctors were at the Thai-Cambodian border, shocked by the plight of thousands of severely wounded landmine victims living unattended among tens of thousands of refugees. This dire experience motivated Jean-Baptiste Richardier and Claude Simonnot and their wives, Marie and Marie-Eve, to create Handicap International.

Conceived to provide physical rehabilitation to victims left permanently injured by war, their work expanded to include the needs of the broader community of persons with disabilities living in destitute situations, regardless of the cause


Handicap International has a long history of advocacy, having co-founded the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which led to the adoption of the Mine Ban Treaty and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997. The organization was a leading advocate for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which became international law in 2008, and it continues to play a major role in its monitoring and implementation.

The Federation

The Handicap International network, which is composed of national associations in Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, formed the Handicap International Federation in 2010. In three decades, Handicap International has succeeded in influencing the way the world deals with acutely vulnerable populations, particularly persons with disabilities, whenever and wherever a crisis arises.