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September 2015 – The 25th Ilga Foundation award for Public Service

In September 2015 Dr Cynthia Maung was awarded the 25th Ilga Foundation award for Public Service in Seoul South Korea. This award honours people from around the world who have dedicated themselves to building communities of love in order to better the lives of everybody.

Dr Cynthia Maung receiving the award with Rev. Huh Chun Jung of Seo So Moon Church


December 2013 – Honorary Doctorate in Medicine

In December 2013, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presented Dr Cynthia with an honorary doctorate in Medicine from Ubon Ratchathani University. This was the first time that an academic institution in Thailand has provided such a high-level acknowledgement of the decades of work that Dr. Cynthia and MTC have provided in Thailand and Burma. The award was given in recognition of Dr. Cynthia’s work “in taking care of refugees and displaced people affected by war and helping underprivileged patients in the midst of ethnic conflict”. 


November 2013 – Sydney Peace Prize

In November 2013, Dr. Cynthia travelled to Australia to receive the 2013 Sydney Peace Prize, which was awarded to her for “dedication to multi-ethnic democracy, human rights and the dignity of the poor and dispossessed, and for establishing health services for victims of conflict”.


July 2013 – The Rotary One Award

In July, Dr Cynthia travelled to Phrae in Thailand to accept her prize as a finalist of the Rotary ONE Award after Thai Rotary groups selected her as their 2013 candidate for Thailand.



Dr Cynthia and the Mae Tao Clinic have won many awards over the years due to tirelesswork, to improve the lives of the Burmese people.

Dr Cynthia recieving her Freedom to Create award from Graça Machel, the wife of Nelson Mandela, in Cape Town, November 2011

Freedom to Create Leadership Award for Women

Awarded annually to a “change-maker who has identified and implemented a creative way to address a social issue, demonstrating courage, creativity and transformational change for her community”.


Alumni Association Humanitarian Award, UC Davis School of Medicine

Awarded to Dr Terrance Smith for his work at Mae Tao Clinic

Inspiration Model Award

Awarded to Dr Cynthia by a Thai television program, “Khon Khon Khon” for her work in inspiring others to do good things.


Catalonia International Prize (Spain)

Jointly awarded with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for their selfless sacrifice in promoting pro-democracy activities, freedom, and human rights in Burma. “This is the first time the award has gone to Burmese ladies. The prize committee selected them for their sacrifices and devotion to the freedom of Burma, democratic struggle and social work,” said Ms. Teresa Salar, assistant secretary of the prize selection committee.
The award is presented annually to persons who have made remarkable contribution to the development of cultural, scientific or human rights anywhere in the world.


Shining World Leadership Award

Presented by The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association January 12, 2007

Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award (Taiwan)

The Taiwan Foundation for Democracy awarded its Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award in 2007 to Dr. Cynthia. Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng who is also chairman of the foundation explained, “Dr. Cynthia is going beyond her mandate as a physician by turning a refugee population into a community based on shared values and respect for human rights, as well as by linking her cause to the international community”. Hsaio Hsin-huang, the foundations’ standing supervisor further explained, “Giving the award to her means we have formed a broader definition of democracy and human rights…from reporters to doctors, everyone can fight for human rights.”

World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child (WCPRC) Honorary Award (Sweden), Children’s World Association

WCPRC has grown to become the world’s largest annual education and empowerment process for the rights of the child, democracy and global friendship for children.  As part of this process, the children award their prize for outstanding contributions to the rights of the child.


1,000 Women Nobel Peace Prize Nomination (Global)

Dr. Cynthia Maung was included in 1,000 women from more than 150 countries who were jointly nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. The number 1,000 is symbolic, as the 1,000 women nominated represent innumerable women worldwide who are engaged in the cause of peace and human dignity.

Unsung Heroes of Compassion Award (USA)

The Dalai Lama and Wisdom in Action. “These individuals have been selected as representatives of the tens of thousands of people worldwide who quietly serve the disenfranchised and work to improve our communities through their personal efforts,” says Dick Grace, board chair of Wisdom in Action, “We don’t see them or hear about them in the daily news, but they exemplify a humanism and heroism to which we must each aspire”. Wisdom in Action (WIA) is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to increasing awareness of the importance of compassion in action.

The Eighth Global Concern for Human Life Award Chou-Ta Kuan Foundation, Taiwan

Voice of Courage Award

The Women’s Commission honored Sophia, a refugee from Burma, for her work as program manager of the reproductive health inpatient department at the Mae Tao Clinic on the Thai-Burma border. At the clinic, Sophia trains traditional birth attendants, maternal child health trainees and other reproductive health staff.


Asian Hero Award

Dr. Cynthia Maung was included in Time Magazine’s November article on 18 Global Health Heroes. 


Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership (Phillipines)

The RMAF recognises and honors individuals and organisations in Asia regardless of race, creed, sex, or nationality, who have achieved distinction in their respective fields and have helped others generously without anticipating public recognition.  The Community Leadership award recognizes leadership of a community toward helping the disadvantaged have fuller opportunities and a better life. In electing Dr Cynthia Maung to receive the 2002 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership, the board of trustees recognised her humane and fearless response to the urgent medical needs of thousands of refugees and displaced persons along the Thailand-Burma border.


Van Hueven Goedhart Award (Netherlands)

The Van Hueven Goedhart Award is given every second year by Stichting luchteling Netherlands Refugee Foundation to a refugee or an internally displaced person or a person who is closely involved in a refugee community.

Foundation for Human Rights in Asia Special Award (Japan)

The purpose of the Foundation for Human Rights in Asia (FHRA) is to contribute to the improvement and development of the human rights situations in Asia. As part of these activities, the Foundation established the Awards to present to individuals and groups who have conducted meritorious services toward improving or solving the human rights situations in Asia. The Women Human Rights Special Award is given to organisations or individuals who have contributed particularly to the human rights of women.


Jonathan Mann Health and Human Rights Award (USA)

In 1999 Dr. Cynthia was unable to attend the award ceremony in Washington, D.C., so Jimmy Carter presented the award via video conference to Bangkok. Dr. Cynthia’s acceptance speech was broadcast via satellite to Washington, London, India, and Ghana. Jonathan Mann died an untimely death in September 1998, but he and Dr. Cynthia would have a lot to discuss if they could have met. He brought the world’s attention to the basic notion that improved health cannot be achieved without basic human rights, and that these rights are meaningless without adequate health. Dr. Cynthia works daily towards this ideal.

John Humphrey Freedom Award (Canada)

Dr. Cynthia Maung and prisoner of conscience, Min Ko Naing, were jointly awarded the 1999 John Humphrey Freedom Award of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, for their efforts to empower the people of Burma. “Dr. Cynthia Maung and Min Ko Naing inspire all those who struggle for peace and justice in Burma,” said Warren Allmand, President of the International Centre, upon announcing the decision of the international jury. “We hope that this Award will help provide some measure of protection to Dr. Cynthia Maung and Min Ko Naing and further expose the brutal dictatorship in Burma,” explained David Matas, a Winnipeg lawyer, who chaired the meeting of the international jury held to consider over 50 nominations from around the world.

1999 American Women’s Medical Association President’s Award (USA)