20 February 2017
Brussels, 20 February 2017 – ASF was recently given a donation of €10,000 by the International Association of Young Lawyers. This donation attests to the now well-established links between the NGO which advocates for human rights and the international association for young lawyers and legal professionals.
The International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA) brings together 4,000 young lawyers and legal professionals from over 90 countries. It aims to encourage meetings among its members and promote solidarity and mutual respect between them. “We organise seminars and other activities for our members“, explains Giuseppe Marletta, AIJA Association Manager. “In recent years, we have been able to count on Avocats Sans Frontières to provide thought-provoking material at our annual conference; in 2016, for example, we had a session on the rights of refugees.”
According to ASF Strategic Coordinator Chantal van Cutsem, “in 2015, ASF and AIJA also conducted a joint advocacy campaign following the troubling arrest of lawyer Malek Adly, where we called for respect for the freedom of the legal profession in Egypt. I also had the opportunity to address freedom of speech issues in countries undergoing democratic transition at the AIJA conference in London.”
“The decision to seal this collaboration with a financial donation was simply the logical next step“, adds Nicolas Thieltgen, Co-Chair of the AIJA Human Rights Committee. “It allows us to make a tangible contribution to ASF’s work supporting lawyers in the countries in which it operates.”
Donations such as the one made by AIJA are an essential supplement to the institutional funding awarded to ASF programmes. They enable the organisation to safeguard its independence from donors’ geopolitical priorities, pursue the most urgent requests, explore new possibilities for action, and meet expenses which are not covered by institutional donors.
“AIJA’s donation to our organisation demonstrates that whether we are business law specialists, corporate lawyers or lawyers without borders, we all share the belief that access to justice, the rule of law and respect for human rights are essential and contribute to sustainable development,” concludes Chantal van Cutsem. “We are grateful to them for their backing and hope that we can continue to rely on their support in the future.”