Dear GlobalGiving Community,
Hello and Happy New Year to all of you!
Over the past five years since we launched our campaign on GlobalGiving, with your support the ILF has been able to expand our work to meet the critical need for legal aid services for the poor and vulnerable around the world. I wanted to take this moment to thank you all for your incredible generosity and steadfast commitment throughout this journey!
Your support has been critically important, as we’ve researched and documented conditions in South and Southeast Asia (Bangladesh, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar), Africa (Liberia, Central African Republic, Sierra Leone), and Latin America (Argentina and Brazil). Through these assessments, we’ve documented gaps in access to justice and potential for reform, while reaching out to government officials, legal professionals, and civil society partners to promote the right to legal aid and encourage progress. During this campaign, our biennial International Legal Aid Conferences in Buenos Aires, Argentina (2016) and Tbilisi, Georgia (2018) have convened hundreds of leaders and justice stakeholders to catalyze progress, foster collaboration, and reinvigorate global commitment to legal aid. As a direct result of these connections, we’ve provided assistance to legal aid partners in Georgia, Haiti, Brazil and beyond, sharing the ILF’s unique model to address challenges in quality legal aid provision.
Your contributions through this campaign were also essential to the ILF’s rapidly expanding program in Myanmar, where we launched in 2017 and now have defended hundreds of women, children, minorities, migrants, and other marginalized communities in five regions. Our International Fellows are doing amazing work training the country’s first public defenders, the ILF’s Myanmar lawyers have now taken cases as high as the Supreme Court, and we’ve launched an ambitious partnership with UNICEF to better protect children and youth.
Looking ahead, we are advocating for the global crisis in access to quality legal aid to be addressed at international fora such as the United Nations Crime Congress in Kyoto this spring. We are also excited to announce that the Fourth International Legal Aid Conference will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this September. We continue to research and expand our engagement with partners in Haiti, Libya, and beyond. At the same time, we are growing our public defender programs in Afghanistan, Palestine, and Tunisia with a strong focus on sustainability.
After five years on the GlobalGiving platform, I hope you will continue to follow our work as showcased on the ILF’s official website, which we redesigned last fall and where you can sign up for our newsletter and learn more about our current work. We also encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
You have been an incredible community of support, and I look forward to continued partnership in 2020. Thank you for joining us in the fight for justice!