Prize for Liberal Humanism 2023 awarded to Patsy Sörensen and vzw Payoke.

Such prizes and honors should be extended of course only to outstanding personalities and long lasting achievements for humanity.

But this time, the honor goes to a person who did more than simply being committed to humanity and human values and rights. Patsy Sörensen, in spite of her various honorable functions and distinctions as Vice Mayor of Antwerp, as member of the Green Party, as Member of the European Parliament and many others, remained devoted over her life time to the cause of protection of victims and fight against injustice. Her priority remains to stand up for victims abused by criminals by way of strengthening the principles of rule of law and justice. 


She created a centre for humanity 30 years ago called PAYOKE  in order to lend her vision and support to a specific and sustainable form and content. She has done it on her own initiative with little support of the public opinion and administrative structures. She has done it risking her own life,  being put in jeopardy by criminals using victims of trafficking for their own financial and material gains. She had to hide for long periods and had to be protected by state security services for being discovered, only because she fought and publicly denounced, both the criminal gangs behind trafficking in human beings as well as weak structures that insufficiently reacting against injustice and crime. 

The prize of humanity 2023 awarded to Patsy Sörensen is therefore to be seen as an award at the right time to the right person. The life work of Patsy Sörensen and her engagement will give a new significance and meaning to the prize of humanity.    

All Ceipa members including the leadership of CEIPA are happy and content with the distinction and recognition given to Patsy Sörensen.   

Peter Josef von Bethlenfalvy

Founder and Executive Director




PS :  Register for the award ceremony at Bozar at 7 pm on June 21, 2023, Humanism Day