Your Support for Poor and Minority Communities

A holiday letter from our Executive Director, Jennifer Smith:

Dear Friend,

The work of legal aid lawyers in Afghanistan, Nepal, Tunisia, the West Bank and Myanmar is desperately needed and yet also difficult and dangerous. In the most challenging contexts, ILF lawyers overcome incredible obstacles every day to fight for the rights of the poorest and most vulnerable, incrementally building respect for the rule of law. Our lawyers are fighting for justice, working on the front lines to protect the rights of the poor and marginalized, and eliminate torture and other abuse.

The ILF works to defend the rights of poor people accused of crimes in countries emerging from decades of conflict and instability, where our clients come from the poorest and most vulnerable communities. They are women and girls in Afghanistan imprisoned on “moral crimes;” members of lower castes in Nepal swept up by police for petty offenses designed to harass “undesirables” and get them off the streets by any means necessary; Libyan and Syrian refugees in Tunisia facing detention after fleeing conflict and oppression; and countless others.

Throughout 2018 and going forward, the ILF continues to go where we are most needed. The ILF is proud to report that we are now reaching more indigent accused than ever before.  We have established three legal aid offices in Myanmar, and began setting up two more in conflict affected areas of Rakhine and northern Shan States. We also extended our representation in the West Bank to courts in every governorate. And, even as Afghanistan’s security has deteriorated, we are responding to the urgent need to expand into underserved regions of the country. Finally, with your support, we conducted an assessment of the urgent need for legal aid services in Laos, and will establish a new project there early next year.

This holiday season, we hope you will consider supporting the work of the ILF’s dedicated defense lawyers, who despite incredible challenges and risks have worked tirelessly to ensure that the rights of poor men, women, and children are protected. This work is more urgent than ever given increasing threats to access to justice and rule of law around the world, including government crackdowns on civil society organizations, poor and minority communities and other communities most at risk.

Please, pledge your support to our work today with a charitable donation. The ILF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, and all contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

On behalf of everyone at The International Legal Foundation, I thank you for your support and wish you and your family a very happy holiday, and a peaceful and joyful 2019.

Warmest regards,

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Jennifer Smith
Executive Director

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