Volunteer Page

Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC ) is a volunteer-run non-governmental organization (NGO). LRWC is a committee of lawyers and other human rights defenders who, in cooperation with other NGOs, promote international human rights law (IHRL) and the rule of law globally through advocacy, education and legal research. Volunteers advocate on behalf of human rights defenders who are at risk because of their advocacy. Dangers faced by these victims include: arbitrary detention, torture, enforced disappearance, injury, and death. The work of LRWC volunteers is critical to ensuring legal protections for victims of serious human rights violations. Volunteers must be:

  • a member of LRWC;
  • committed to promoting and protecting human rights; and,
  • capable of working virtually, cooperatively, and independently.

The work of volunteers is reviewed by the Executive Director or other LRWC Director(s) before publication.

See a brief explanation of International Human Rights Monitoring Bodies & International Criminal Law, by Professor Joanna Harrington.

Please email info@lrwc.org for information about current volunteer opportunities.


CASE MONITORS

The job of a LRWC Country Monitor is to

  • monitor the situation of human rights defenders in the particular country
  • respond to human rights violations against lawyer and human rights defenders with a written communication that accurately sets out the facts and identifies the remedy required by international human rights law;
  • monitor the situation
  • advise LRWC of additional action needed.

LRWC Country Monitors also contribute to oral and written statements to the United Nations, reports to international human rights monitoring bodies, and briefs to domestic or international tribunals. See Monitor Guidelines for more information, and contact LRWC at info@lrwc.org for information on countries for which monitors are needed.


WRITING LETTERS AND STATEMENTS

Most LRWC advocacy commences with a letter regarding the reported human rights violations. A well written and timely letter can focus attention on the abuse, promote protection for and give hope to those whose rights are being violated. Most letters contain summaries of the relevant international human rights law drawn from LRWC publications. See LRWC’s Letter Writing Guide for more information. Volunteers’ draft letters which are reviewed and approved by the Executive Director.


LEGAL RESEARCH

LRWC legal research identifies international human rights law provisions and their interpretation, purpose, and application as determined by the jurisprudence. This research forms the basis of letters, statements, manuals, intervention briefs to domestic and international tribunals, reports to monitoring bodies of the United Nations and the Organization of American States and oral and written statements to UN and other bodies. LRWC is done by volunteers. Researchers must be able to:

  •  work independently;
  • research thoroughly, including appropriate and accurate footnotes;
  • record accurately;
  • work cooperatively.

See Research Guide for links to international human rights law jurisprudence.  For an example LRWC publication see the LIBRARY.


UN MONITORING BODIES MEMO
  1. Research and memos relevant to procedures of the UN Treaty Bodies, the UN Human Rights Council and other UN human rights bodies.
  2. Reports for Universal Periodic Reviews of UN member states

RESEARCH ON INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS
Volunteers periodically undertake research on various aspects of international human rights, supervised by the Executive Director or other Directors. Please write to info@lrwc.org for further information about topics of research.

PETITIONS TO THE UN SPECIAL PROCEDURES

Assistance with drafting petitions to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances, and other UN bodies.


INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT

Assistant to the International Criminal Court Committee, including reviewing news, tracking current ICC events and prepare monthly memos.


FUNDRAISING

LRWC needs volunteers to:

  • Assist in identifying viable non-government funding options for LRWC;
  • Draft funding proposals

PUBLICATION AND DISTRIBUTION

LRWC need volunteers to assist with production of written materials by editing, proofreading, and providing assistance regarding methods of publication and distribution to maximize accessibility of the materials.


MEDIA

LRWC needs volunteers to assist with drafting press releases and developing media strategies generally and for specific issues or countries.


COUNTRY BACKGROUNDERS

Volunteers are needed to update country backgrounders for use by volunteers drafting letters and statements. Please see in the existing country backgrounders .DOCX or .DOC format.

Afghanistan

Argentina

Bahrain

Bangladesh

Cambodia

China

Colombia

Honduras

Iran

Israel

Lesotho

Malaysia

Pakistan

Philippines

Saudi Arabia

Singapore

South Africa

Sudan

Syria

Thailand

Turkey

Vietnam

Zimbabwe