A request for your support for Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada: A letter from the Executive Director

Dear friends and colleagues,

2020 has been a year unlike any other. In a time when we have experienced a global pandemic and widespread political conflict, the protection of international human rights has become increasingly crucial.

This year has also been a year of solidarity and political awakening leading to renewed focus on what we can do collectively and as individuals to make the world a better place. LRWC is proud to continue to contribute to the protection of rights and protection of human rights lawyers and defenders. We are more appreciative than ever for the support from our community of members and readers, without whom we could not do the work that we do.

If you would like to support LRWC and the work we do please consider becoming a member or making a one-time donation to support our work. LRWC does not receive funding from any government and is supported through membership fees and donations.

LRWC members undertake pro bono research, education and advocacy

LRWC membership fees allow LRWC to conduct pro bono research, education, and advocacy for lawyers and other human rights defenders at risk in many countries in the world. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for pro bono work by LRWC volunteers has intensified. LRWC has continued to contribute to the defence of rights and human rights lawyers and defenders throughout 2020, including the lawyers pictured above.

Human rights research education

LRWC has built advocates’ knowledge of international human rights by focusing on research and public education. Our initiatives include launching a new webinar series, starting with a 10 December 2020 webinar, An Overview of the UN Human Rights System, a free Toolkit for Lawyers at Risk, and the publication of a new book Attacking Defenders: Criminalization of Human Rights Advocacy, free to download and now available free of charge on CanLII. LRWC has also provided research and reports contributing to the UN Human Rights Committee’s 2020 General Comment on freedom of assembly and the UN’s 2020 review of UN human rights treaty bodies’ effectiveness.

Advocacy for defenders around the world

LRWC has also continued to undertake advocacy work, including publishing letters and statements calling for protection of human rights lawyers and defenders. LRWC’s focus in 2020-21 is on promotion of the rule of law and protection of advocates in China, Turkey, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia and Colombia. LRWC volunteers also advocate for defenders in many other countries. LRWC’s team of volunteer lawyers have also presented more than a dozen statements at the UN Human Rights Council, seeking protection of human rights lawyers and defenders in several countries, including China, Iran, the Philippines, Turkey, South Sudan, Sudan, the United States, and Yemen.

In closing, LRWC would like to thank you sincerely for being part of our community. If you have the ability to do so, please consider helping us reach our funding goals and join our community of human rights advocates.

Please click here to donate to LRWC or become a member today.

With gratitude,

Catherine Morris
Executive Director
Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada