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Annual Report 2022

Accountability & Rule of Law - Global - Advocacy

Annual Report 2022

A Message from LAW’s Executive Director

 

I am very pleased to introduce LAW’s new annual report.

Once again, thanks to the dedication and passion of our staff, partners, but most importantly, the courage and determination of victims and survivors, LAW has continued to make strides towards delivering justice, putting an end to impunity and establishing the legal and policy frameworks that are needed to prevent and redress human rights violations and abuses in conflict and fragile settings. 

Challenges remain, but our collective efforts, our commitment to serve and empower victims and survivors, and our unique approach, mean that we were able to achieve successes for women, men, children, and LGBTQI+ individuals, no matter how difficult in today’s environment. 

Every victim and survivor of human rights violations deserves access to justice. In 2022, LAW worked, undeterred, with incredibly brave and resilient people in Ethiopia, Lebanon, South Sudan, Somalia, Bangladesh, Syria, and Sri Lanka to hold States and individuals accountable and turn promises and declarations into action. 2022 was a year of “landmarks” and “milestones” for LAW. 

These include:

  • With our partners the Pan-African Lawyers Union and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, filing the first-ever complaint against the state of Ethiopia before the African Commission for serious and massive human rights violations against Tigrayan civilians. Our complaint resulted in the first provisional measures being ordered against Ethiopia.
  • Hosting a survivor-led conference which concluded with the launch of a Plan of Action to combat sexual and gender-based violence in Syria. 
  • Publishing a report on systemic discrimination and abuse experienced by LGBTQI+ persons in Lebanon.
  • Releasing the first ever investigative report on gendered crimes committed during the Lebanese Civil Wars. 
  • Opening three new legal aid clinics in South Sudan that provide victims and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence with legal assistance and representation.
  • Increasing our external representation in global processes, including hosting and participating in side events at the Human Rights Council’s 51st session, the UN General Assembly’s 77th Session, and the 21st session of the International Criminal Court’s Assembly of States Parties.
  • Providing more than 19,000 people with legal aid, legal information and/or legal representation.

But LAW’s successes are not ours alone. Victims and survivors are why we exist and why we challenge indifference, impunity, and inaction. Connected by suffering and trauma, and when silence is so very inviting, they rise to show us that surviving is just the beginning of a journey towards healing. We would also not be able to have operations in conflict and fragile settings and provide channels for victims and survivors to come forward and deliver essential legal aid and representation without our partners. Finally, we would not have our reach and impact without our many allies, internal and others, that support and elevate our agenda and vision. 

That is why this year, we have asked survivors, partners, colleagues, and champions – our “Voices for Change” – to share their stories, their work, what they do to secure justice and accountability and why they do it. I am also extremely honoured that a Rohingya survivor who is also a member of the powerful Shanti Mohila (peace women) group in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, has accepted the invitation to write a message alongside mine. 

In 2023, LAW will be celebrating its 10th anniversary. This year, we will reflect on our achievements, but most importantly we will strive to build innovative projects, co-create ground-breaking initiatives, form new influential partnerships and constituencies of support, including with the media and public figures, and step up our global engagement with like-minded organisations.

Finally, I want to thank everyone that has contributed to our work and achievements in 2022: LAW’s staff and Board, our advisory committee, partners, donors and national and international organisations that make our work stronger, better, and more impactful. 

Antonia Mulvey Founder and Executive Director, Legal Action Worldwide

Download the report here.

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