Here some of the organizations which are deeply and constantly involved in defending endangered lawyers:
International Association of People’s Lawyers
Defending the lawyers involved in human rights cases have been a major concern of the International Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL), since its foundation in 2000. IAPL was created to gather lawyers involved in the legal support of collective struggles for people’s rights and in situations of gross rights violations. In the latest 5th Congress, in Rio de Janeiro in 2014, reports were presented about the persecution of lawyers and violation of the exercise of the legal profession from all the countries attending. As people’s lawyer Romeo Capulong used to say, repression breeds resistance. And the more the people’s struggle is repressed and the more ruthless the regime is, it affects even the lawyers and human rights defenders. The creation of the IAPL Monitoring Committee on Attacks on Lawyers is a concretization of this concern, and it goes along with other initiatives to research, document and denounce these attacks worldwide and offer contributions to restore and seek justice in response to violations.
Monitoring Committee: https://defendlawyers.wordpress.com/
Day of the Endangered Lawyer Foundation
The Day of the Endangered Lawyer is a day on which we call for the attention of lawyers all over the world who are being harassed, silenced, pressured, threatened, persecuted, tortured. Even murders and disappearances are not out of the extraordinary. The only reason for this injustice being the fact that they carry out their job and its professional obligations when needed the most.
Systematically impeding lawyers at the exercise of their profession is a serious infringement of human rights in many countries, which does not solely deserve our utmost attention. The victims and lawyers too deserve our full-hearted support for their predicament.
We have devoted our attention to the situation in Iran, Turkey, Basque Country, Columbia, Philippines and Honduras in the past. In 2017 it will focus on the situation in China.
Lawyers 4 Lawyers
L4L is an independent and non-political Dutch foundation which seeks to promote the proper functioning of the rule of law by pursuing freedom and independence of the legal profession. We do this by supporting lawyers worldwide who are threatened or suppressed in the execution of their profession. L4L was granted Special Consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council in July 2013.
Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada
Lawyers Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) is a committee of Canadian lawyers who promote human rights and the rule of law by providing support internationally to human rights defenders in danger. LRWC promotes the implementation and enforcement of international standards designed to protect the independence and security of human rights defenders around the world. In its work, LRWC:
Campaigns for lawyers whose rights, freedoms or independence are threatened as a result of their human rights advocacy;
Produces legal analyses of national and international laws and standards relevant to human rights abuses against lawyers and other human rights defenders; and
Works in cooperation with other human rights organizations.
Institut des droits de l'Homme des Avocats européens (IDHAE)
Created by the UNION of EUROPEAN LAWYERS (UAE), in 2001, in Luxemburg, the European Bar Human Rights Institute (IDHAE) has as its objective the monitoring of human rights protection, the training of lawyers in international human rights law, interventions, regardless of the limitations of borders, in favour of freedom and the fundamental rights of lawyers, organization of the World Observatory for Defence Rights and attacks against lawyers, the organisation of workshops, symposia and seminars related to publications on international human rights law.
IDHAE publishes, among various human rights studies, online monthly LE JOURNAL électronique DES DROITS DE L'HOMME.
ProtectDefenders.eu is the European Union Human Rights Defenders mechanism, established to protect defenders at high risk and facing the most difficult situations worldwide. Led by a Consortium of 12 NGOs active in the field of Human Rights.
Front Line Defenders
Front Line Defenders was founded in Dublin in 2001 with the specific aim of protecting human rights defenders at risk (HRD's), people who work, non-violently, for any or all of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Front Line Defenders addresses the protection needs identified by HRDs themselves.
UN Special Rapporteur ON Human rights defenders
The protection of human rights defenders is the main concern of the Special Rapporteur. Protection is understood to include the protection of human rights defenders themselves and the protection of their right to defend and promote human rights.
We speak out, they walk out .#ForFreedom
Hundreds of human rights defenders are being arbitrarily detained throughout the world. #ForFreedom presents symbolic cases of these defenders.
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
FIDH is an international human rights NGO federating 178 organizations from 120 countries. Since 1922, FIDH has been defending all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Foundation Judges for Judges
The Dutch Foundation ‘Judges for Judges’ has been set up to support fellow judges abroad who have experienced or may experience problems whilst practising their profession. For example, their independence is being violated or threatened or they are being put under pressure.
The Foundation was established in 1998. In December 2009, a new committee took over and this has breathed fresh life into the Foundation’s activities. Since 2010 the Foundation has been actively involved with fellow judges in seven countries (Russia, Georgia, Philippines, Venezuela, Serbia, Spain, Slovakia) and situations in several other countries are under close observation.
When the Foundation hears about a judge in trouble or likely to get into trouble, it contacts him/her. Sometimes judges themselves contact the Foundation. We check all information we receive and in close liaison with the judge concerned it is decided what action the Foundation can take to help improve his/her situation. In some cases the Foundation will contact the authorities in the country involved, or national or European parliamentary bodies. In other cases cooperation will be sought with Dutch associations or international organizations. Sometimes media attention is sought; on other occasions silent diplomacy is required.
Colombian Caravana UK Lawyers Group
The Colombian Caravana UK Lawyers Group is a group of international lawyers that monitor the human rights abuses faced by legal professionals in Colombia.
Members of the group first visited Colombia in 2008 at the invitation of the Association of Defence Lawyers “Eduardo Umaña Mendoza” (Asociación colombiana de abogados defensores “Eduardo Umaña Mendoza”, ACADEUM) which is an umbrella organisation for Colombian human rights lawyers. ACADEUM had issued a call for an international delegation of jurists – the International Caravana of Lawyers (Caravana) – to visit several regions of the country to meet lawyers and to receive testimony from human rights defenders at risk. 51 lawyers and legal professionals from Europe, Canada and Latin America joined the mission and their report No Justice Without Lawyers, can be viewed on the Delegations page
After the first International Caravana of Lawyers mission, a number of the delegates returned to the UK and established the Colombian Caravana UK Lawyers Group. The organisation was incorporated as a company in 2010 and achieved charity status in 2011.
ELDH European Association of Lawyers for Democracy & World Human Rights
ELDH is a non-profit progressive organization which presently unites lawyers in 18 European countries, who struggle together for human rights and civil liberties, social and economic rights, democracy, the rights of migrants and refugees, the right to development of all countries, peace, equal rights for women and men, minority rights, the right of peoples to self-determination, and the prosecution of war-criminals and perpetrators of human rights violations against dictatorships, oppression of the people, discrimination, racism, war, and all violations of human rights.
Legal Team Italia
Italian lawyers' association, whose aim is to protect political, social and citizenship freedoms and rights. (it)
International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)
The International Commission of Jurists is comprised of up to sixty lawyers (including senior judges, attorneys and academics) dedicated to ensuring respect for international human rights standards through the law. Commissioners are known for their experience, knowledge and fundamental commitment to human rights. The composition of the Commission aims to reflect the geographical diversity of the world and its many legal systems.
The ICJ deals with independence of judges and lawyers, business and human rights, economic, social and cultural rights, global security and rule of law, UN programs, gender equality.
Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR)
Mission: The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) is an independent, non-profit and non-governmental organisation that works to provide support and protection to human rights defenders in the Gulf region by promoting freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.
Vision: To develop and protect a sustainable network of human rights defenders in the Gulf region.
Values: Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) is an independent non-governmental organisation dedicated to protecting and supporting human rights defenders in the Gulf region in both responsive and proactive ways. We engage in peaceful advocacy to advance the work of human rights defenders and we remain apprised of the key issues and developments in the region that impact human rights defenders. GCHR is a reliable, transparent and trustworthy partner organisation that helps human rights defenders reach regional and international media and relevant government officials, and link them with international human rights organisations and United Nations mechanisms.
- To provide rapid, practical and effective support to human rights defenders at risk, including by carrying out missions and issuing press releases, calls to action and country reports, as well as a regional annual report.
- To provide practical support that contributes to strengthening the capacity of human rights defenders to manage their security, including through training programs and facilitating emergency requests via international partners.
- To support networking and exchanges between human rights defenders on the subject of security and protection, including through the regular holding of the Gulf Defenders Platform and by targeted campaigns.
- To strengthen international protection of human rights defenders at risk, for example by supporting regional and international mechanisms such as the role of UN bodies for human rights defenders, including to promote the implementation of the UN Declaration on human rights defenders, and by holding advocacy events at the UN.
- To promote and help shape the development of an understanding of the vital importance of freedom of expression and the media in the protection of human rights defenders.
Human Rights House Network
- Armenia - Yerevan,
- Azerbaijan - Baku,
- Belarus in exile - Vilnius,
- Bosnia and Herzegovina - Sarajevo,
- Croatia - Zagreb,
- Georgia - Tbilisi,
- Norway - Bergen,
- Norway - Oslo,
- Poland - Warsaw,
- Russian Federation - Moscow,
- Russian Federation - Voronezh,
- Serbia - Belgrade,
- Ukraine - Kiev,
- United Kingdom - London
Focus on the rights to:
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (ISHR)
The International Service for Human Rights is an independent, non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting and protecting human rights. We achieve this by supporting human rights defenders, strengthening human rights systems, and leading and participating in coalitions for human rights change.
Protection International is an international non-profit organization that provides protection strategies and tools for security management to human rights defenders who are at risk. Since 2004, Protection International has been working with local partners in over thirty countries across the globe.
Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA)
L’UIA rassemble aujourd'hui plus de deux millions d’avocats au travers de ses membres à titre individuel ou collectif (barreaux, fédérations, associations) répartis dans plus de 120 pays.