27 January 2012
Antwerp/Brussels – Solicitor General Mr Grootjans recently handed over a cheque for 20,000 Euros to Avocats Sans Frontières President Hafida Talhaoui. This donation concretises the valuable support which the lawyers of Antwerp have given to ASF for almost ten years.
When the cheque was awarded on December 13th, Solicitor General Dirk Grootjans, who heads the Antwerp Bar, renewed his support for ASF. ‘I think there is nothing more poignant than a citizen who feels that he or she cannot exercise his or her rights. This creates an incredible feeling of injustice’, he said. ‘That is why we are convinced as to the importance of private initiatives that promote access to justice for all. The Bar is clearly in a good position to support these projects’.
‘With this donation the Antwerp lawyers are demonstrating their solidarity with their colleagues in the countries where ASF is active’, said Ms Talhaoui, thanking the Bar. ‘This financial contribution allows us to further develop our different projects that support professional development of lawyers and bar associations locally’.
In Nepal, for example, where ASF has opened a new permanent mission, the legal profession faces a number of challenges. Lawyers need ongoing training in order to improve the legal services provided to the population. ASF organises training sessions on critical issues, such as legal aid for minors and the fight against torture.
ASF regularly receives financial support from numerous Belgian Bar associations. In addition to individual donations, this support is a key complementary source of funding for ASF which programmes are essentially funded by institutional donors.