International Bridges to Justice fellowship – Justicemakers

The Lex-Warrier: Online Law Journal would like to congratulate our Team Member Ms. Garima Tiwari for securing International Bridges to Justice fellowship for the year 2012. She is one among the 12 candidates who are eligible for the fellowship. Her award winning project aims to protect and promote the legal rights of the vulnerable communities particularly those suffering with HIV/AIDS within the criminal justice system through various awareness and training strategies.

Delivering Justice to People Living with HIV/AIDS

International Bridges to Justice (IBJ) on December 10, 2012 announced 12 new members to its community with the announcement of the winners of its JusticeMakers 2012 HIV/AIDS Global Competition.

This year’s diverse JusticeMakers Fellows come from 10 different countries on 4 continents. The awards will provide funding, training and support to help them realize innovative projects that aim to improve the legal rights of people living with and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS within the criminal justice system.

For the first time, there are 4 Fellows from Eastern Europe, representing the countries of Russia, Ukraine, and Estonia. There are also 6 Fellows in Africa, from Burundi, Kenya, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Liberia. Two other Fellows come from India and Mexico.

With the generous support of the Levi Strauss Foundation, each JusticeMakers Fellow will receive 5,000 USD towards implementing his/her winning proposal. Additionally, each winner will become a member of the JusticeMakers Community and join IBJ’s network of 33 previous JusticeMakers Fellows, benefitting from IBJ’s resources, including an online legal training course to equip winners as they commence their fellowship.

A total of 64 applications were received from community activists from 31 countries. This year’s competition ran from July to October 2012. Applications were submitted in English, Spanish, French, and Russian and covered a wide range of criminal justice-related issues affecting detainees living with HIV/AIDS. Of the 64 applicants, 13 (20.3%) applications came from the Americas, 15 (23.4%) applications came from Asia, 29 (45.3%) applications came from Africa, and 7 (10.9%) applications came from Europe.

“JusticeMakers Fellows are on the vanguard of IBJ’s mission,” said IBJ Founder and CEO Karen Tse. “The newly-chosen JusticeMakers will achieve breakthroughs in their local criminal justice systems. They are angels of justice to prisoners living with HIV/AIDS.”

“The JusticeMakers fellows are poised to bring greater visibility to the human rights of people living with and at high risk of HIV/AIDS within the criminal justice system. They are true pioneers, and we are deeply honored to support their work,” Levi Strauss Foundation Executive Director Daniel Lee said.

“It is so wonderful to realize that though thousand of miles apart, we can collaborate to effect justice for those already affected by and those vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, so that they can live a normal life of freedom, liberty and justice, as enjoyed by any citizen,” Liberian 2012 JusticeMakers Fellow Christian Zarweah wrote.

“Accused and detainees are generally pre-judged as guilty even before they are tried. Among this group, people living with HIV/AIDS are more susceptible to prejudice and maltreatment. Each of these JusticeMakers Fellows are going to make a difference to hundreds of others in their country,” IBJ International Program Director Sanjeewa Liyanage commented.

Winning projects were selected for their innovation, relevance, sustainability, potential to effectively make the country’s criminal justice system fairer, and ability to inspire others to effect similar change in their criminal justice systems.

Newly-selected Fellow Dmytro Tupchiienko from Kiev, Ukraine will be conducting trainings with justice sector professionals on the proper implementation of laws relating to the treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS within Ukraine’s criminal justice system. These trainings will help to prevent discrimination within the prison system and will standardize the practices of justice sector officials in a criminal justice system that can often be capricious at best.

In Asaba, Nigeria, criminal defense attorney Henry Nwaka will be directly advocating with government officials to pass a law creating a legal framework for how justice officials should treat people living with HIV/AIDS. The project hopes to alter the way justice officials see people living with HIV/AIDS within the criminal justice system, and will prevent future miscarriages of justice, such as the common practice of denying access to courtrooms to people living with HIV/AIDS.

About JusticeMakers
JusticeMakers is a global community where the best and brightest agents of change in criminal justice and human rights reform come together to share ideas and innovate. Through an annual competition, JusticeMakers Fellows are named, trained, and funded.

Previous fellows’ impact
IBJ is proud to complete its fourth JusticeMakers Competition. In 2011, three JusticeMakers Fellows focused specifically on HIV/AIDS. In Argentina, Gabriel Eugenia Vasquez strengthened prisons’ institutional structure and by doing so, helped raising HIV/AIDS awareness. In Indonesia, Alex Argo Hernowo provided legal services geared towards people living with HIV/AIDS. In Azerbaijan, Elchin Abullayev increased public attention for prisoners living with HIV/AIDS.

About International Bridges to Justice
IBJ (www.ibj.org) is dedicated to protecting the basic legal rights of ordinary citizens in developing countries. Specifically, IBJ works to guarantee all citizens the right to competent legal representation, the right to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment, and the right to a fair trial.

For additional information about the winners, please visit our website at justicemakers.ibj.org/press to access our press dossier and photographs. Password: justicemakers2012

List of Justicemakers, 2012

  1. Tatyana Kochetkova (Tolyatti, Russia)
  2. Daniel Serrano de Rejil ( Mexico)
  3. Garima Tiwari ( India)
  4. Nelli Kalikova (Tallinn, Estonia )
  5. Larissa Solovyeva, (Russia)
  6. Dmytro Tupchiienko (Kiev, Ukraine)
  7. Gatavu Audace ( Bujumbura, Burundi)
  8. Dennis Kipruto Mungo (Nairobi, Kenya )
  9. Thaddeus Nwabueze (Lagos, Nigeria)
  10. Charles M. Mupenda (DRC)
  11. Henry Nwaka ( Asaba, Nigeria )
  12. Christian Zarweah (Liberia)

Press Contacts:

Maurice van der Spek (English and French)
Phone number: +41(0) 22.731.2441
Email Address: mauricevanderspek@ibj.org

Emma Brandon (English and French)
Phone Number: +41(0) 22.731.2441
Email Address: ebrandon@ibj.org

Sarah Lux (English)
Phone Number: +41(0) 22.731.2441
Email Address: slux@ibj.org

Mercedes Almagro (Spanish)
Phone Number: +41(0) 22.731.2441
Email Address: mocana@ibj.org

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