AMNESTY International has made U2 recipients of its highest human rights accolade - the 2005 Ambassador of Conscience Award.
The rockers have been praised for 21 years of commitment to human rights.
Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Khan said: "From Live Aid in 1985 and Amnesty International's 1986 Conspiracy of Hope tour, through to Live 8, U2 has arguably done more than any other band to highlight the cause of global human rights in general and Amnesty International's work in particular.
"Their leadership in linking music to the struggle for human rights and human dignity worldwide has been ground-breaking and unwavering.
Art for Amnesty founder Bill Shipsey said U2 would be worthy candidates of the award for their music alone.
"With songs like Pride (In The Name of Love), MLK, Miss Sarajevo, Mothers of the Disappeared, Walk On (written for Burmese political activist Aung San Syu Kyi), and of course the song that has become an anthem to Amnesty, One, U2 has helped spread the human rights message of Amnesty International to a global audience," he said.
"But U2 is, and always has been, about much more than just music."
The award recognises exceptional individual leadership in the fight to protect and promote human rights.
It is inspired by a poem written for Amnesty International by Seamus Heaney.
He said: "U2 have sung themselves to where great singing comes from, that place where art and ardency meet in the light of conscience."