A couple of Fridays a month, I like to feature non-profits and changemakers on my blog to raise awareness of the great work they do, provide a dose of inspiration, and show that positive change is possible. Catch up on my other Feature Friday posts here.

This week, I would like to feature Global Rights, an incredible international human rights organization which fights for access to justice, women’s rights and gender equality, and racial and ethnic equality in developing countries across the world. Founded in 1978, Global Rights works with local activists and human rights advocates in Africa, Asia and Latin America to protect the rights of poor and marginalized populations. They advocate for human rights by documenting rights abuses, working towards legal and policy reform, and providing legal services to the underserved. Their approach to working alongside local leaders makes them truly unique and highly effective:

Global Rights is unique among U.S.-based international human rights organizations in that we have a long-term field-based presence in the countries in which we operate and work on the ground to build local capacity. We work this way for two reasons. First, we believe that local knowledge and expertise is essential to the successful administration of programming. Our local partners know the communities in which we work, are familiar with their cultures and traditions, and often are already active in promoting the legal rights of the poor and marginalized. Second, we recognize that long-term, systemic change can occur only if stakeholders themselves are involved. By transferring knowledge and skills to local partners, we ensure that they can continue work even after our programming has come to an end.

I am currently volunteering with a small organization that receives funding from Global Rights, and from what I have seen, I know that Global Rights is supporting great initiatives on the ground and truly working in a strong partnership with local leaders, officials, and activists working to change the human rights situation in their countries.

Most of all, I admire Global Rights for their important work in the access to justice field. Quite simply, not enough organizations across the world are working on access to justice and legal rights initiatives, and I am impressed by Global Rights’ work in this area.

Their access to justice work centers around ensuring that the indigent, especially women, have access to high quality legal services regardless of their financial situation or level of understanding of the arcane legal system. Global Rights works to strengthen legal institutions so that the justice system is more easily accessible by vulnerable groups. Some of their specific projects include:

  • Training young lawyers in civil, criminal and international human rights law in Afghanistan.
  • Also in Afghanistan, creating a pilot program to provide poor family court clients in Kabul with legal services free of cost.
  • Promoting the use of legally enforceable marriage contracts to improve women’s rights in Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco.
  • Strengthening the capacity of legal services groups to bring impact litigation in Burundi‘s courts, on behalf of victims of land conflict and sexual and gender-based violence.
  • Developing court accompaniment and paralegal training programs aimed at increasing access to justice for poor women in Morocco and Nigeria.

Make sure to check out Global Rights‘ incredible work, and support them in their mission. Thanks for reading!