Human Rights

We are frequently instructed to provide international NGOs with cross-jurisdictional research of domestic legislation to contribute to the development of international human rights. We have provided legal training to our lawyers on key areas of international human rights law, so that we are able to support individuals involved in our pro bono practice through an understanding and application of human rights law in practice.

We were instructed by International Centre for Advocates Against Discrimination (ICAAD) to map data on structural discrimination relevant to women’s rights, minority rights and religious freedom across ten jurisdictions based on the United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review recommendations to identify structural discrimination issues concerning women, minority and religious groups. The consolidated legal analysis will be used in conjunction with the UN Universal Periodic Review mechanism, to identify and develop strategies for tackling structural discrimination globally.

Linklaters was commended for our “comprehensive support to ICAAD through research and analysis to help it in its fight against structural discrimination” in the FT Innovative Lawyers 2014.

“Mapping structural discrimination globally will be an incredibly valuable resource for human rights advocates, NGOs, and governments, and will inform the first ever structural discrimination index. We are privileged to partner with Linklaters and have deeply benefited from the firm's country specific expertise.” Hansdeep Singh,  Co-Founder, ICAAD.

Lawyers in our Brussels office work with Oasis Belgium, a non-profit organisation working on anti-human trafficking initiatives. It forms part of Stop The Traffik, an international NGO network involved in anti-human trafficking work. Our lawyers have assisted Oasis Belgium in compiling a legal toolkit relating to legal rights of Thai women who have been the victims of trafficking or are at risk of being trafficked on areas such as social and immigration rights. It also includes information relating to reporting instances of human trafficking to the relevant authorities whilst protecting the victims.

In Hong Kong, we are working with Pathfinders, which helps vulnerable migrant women and their Hong Kong-born children. We are providing legal research on the rights of migrant children in Hong Kong, and research on the obligation to report knowledge of possible criminal offences arising from Pathfinder’s interactions with victims of domestic violence and other crimes.

Our lawyers assisted with drafting a third party intervention to the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of the AIRE Centre, ILGA-Europe and the ICJ. This related to a case of a lesbian woman who suffered a vicious homophobic attack, in which the domestic court applied a minor offence and charged the attacker with a fine of approximately €40. The third party intervention set the context for the court of the high incidence of homophobic hate crimes within EU member states and drew the court’s attention to the fact that, in a number of member states, minor offences and trivial sentences are being applied by domestic courts for these crimes.