After receiving Slovakia's Jan Langos award at a theater in Bratislava, the Dalai Lama said he considers the prize "new encouragement" for his efforts to find a "mutually agreeable solution" for China and Tibet.
Chinese authorities accuse the Tibetan spiritual leader of seeking independence from Communist China, but the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in northern India, insists he merely wants more autonomy for Tibet.
The Jan Langos Foundation, which invited the Dalai Lama to Slovakia, gives its award to "an outstanding figure of the local defiance against oppressed regimes and their security services" and to civil servants and politicians who "endeavor for human dignity and freedom."
The Dalai Lama, who arrived in Slovakia on Tuesday, was received by Bratislava's mayor on Wednesday and planned to meet with opposition leaders and the public.
Higher ranking Slovak government officials were not scheduled to meet with him.
Other recipients of the Jan Langos award have included former Hungarian President Arpad Goncz, who was praised for promoting democracy while working as an anti-communist dissident.
The Dalai Lama is scheduled to leave Bratislava and travel to Prague on Thursday.