Each year, January 24th marks “The Day of the Endangered Lawyer”. This day provides an opportunity to reflect on the plight of many lawyers around the world who are subjected to harassment, injury and persecution, all while working to protect the rights of society’s most vulnerable.
The lives of lawyers and their families are seriously at risk every day in certain countries around the world. Organized crime and authoritarian regimes view these lawyers, in their pursuit of justice, fairness and human rights, as a serious threat.
Lawyers Symone Gaasbeek-Wielinga and Hans Gaasbeek went on a research mission in the Philippines in the 1990’s to examine this issue. In their pursuit of justice, fairness and human rights, they found lawyers who were being intimidated, threatened and even killed because they were helping people in politically charged cases. The first Day of the Endangered Lawyer was established in 2010.
The Day of the Endangered Lawyer’s purpose is to bring much-needed attention to threatened human rights lawyers, each year focusing on one designated country. This year, the annual event highlights the threats faced by lawyers in China. In July 2015, an unprecedented and well-coordinated detention campaign took place. Over 300 lawyers, legal assistants, and human rights activists were targeted during the national sweep.
To find out more information visit http://dayoftheendangeredlawyer.eu/
Both Jennifer Matunin-Brown and Brent Harasym handle Human Rights matters for Applicants and Respondents before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.