Irish-based human rights organisation Front Line Defenders has been named as one of four winners of the United Nations Human Rights Prize for 2018.

Front Line Defenders was founded in 2001 to provide rapid and practical support for the security and protection for human rights advocates at risk.

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, said he was proud the organisation had been honoured for its work in what he called the "most dangerous and challenging parts of the world".

The award was announced last night in New York by the President of the UN General Assembly, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, and coincides with a World Summit of human rights defenders in Paris which opened today.

This event marks the 20th anniversary of an international accord aimed at protecting human rights defenders.

Andrew Anderson, Executive Director of Front Line Defenders said:  "As we approach the 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, we must redouble our efforts to protect those who risk their lives in the pursuit of justice and dignity. This recognition will help Front Line Defenders bring attention to the important work human rights defenders undertake at great personal risk."