We have been in partnership with the NGO RainLily since 2017. The organization is Hong Kong's first sexual violence crisis center and provides free crisis support to victims and survivors of sexual violence. The RainLily Legal Clinic helps women who have been subjected to sexual violence or sexual harassment in accessing compensation. This work involves helping victims file complaints at the Equal Opportunities Commission in Hong Kong.
Know Your Rights (Australia)
Know Your Rights is our flagship legal education training program that empowers asylum seekers and refugees to better advocate for themselves and understand their rights in host countries. In Australia, Know Your Rights focuses on empowering young refugees. Many of these individuals are the only person in their family who speak English and therefore carry the burden of helping their parents, as well as themselves, navigate the new laws and systems in Australia. Our program provides these young people (and indirectly, their families) with the information and support they need to survive and thrive in their new country. We also employ refugee law students in the design and implementation of our programs.
Supporting asylum seekers and refugees in Hong Kong
Our lawyers in Hong Kong provide various services to asylum seekers and refugees. For example, we offer legal education training to asylum seekers / refugees in collaboration with our NGO partners. We also represent asylum seekers in their non-refoulement protection claims and assist refugees in applying for temporary permissions to work. These services bring direct and material benefits to the asylum seekers and refugees in Hong Kong.
We are currently partnered with various statelessness organizations, including the Statelessness Network Asia Pacific and the Institute for Statelessness and Inclusion. This forms part of a wider effort to map stateless populations, analyze the root causes in national legislation and policies, raise global awareness through the UN system and provide protection for stateless people. Some of the countries we are focused on include Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Myanmar.
Pacific Island Teaching Programmes
Through our partnership with the University of South Pacific (USP), we provide legal education programs to law students from Pacific Island nations. Our training, using interactive and experiential learning techniques, aims to develop the next generation of social justice lawyers by teaching law students about pro bono and access to justice, legal ethics, client interviewing skills and legal drafting. Each program involves two or three lawyers travelling to USP campuses in Fiji and Vanuatu where they teach anywhere between 20 and 100 students from across the region.
Australian birth certificate clinic
Having your birth registered is a human right. Despite this, thousands of people born in Australia never have their birth registered and therefore do not have an Australian birth certificate. Lack of birth registration is prevalent among First Nations and CALD communities, people born in remote areas and people who were in the care and protection system.
Since 2017, DLA Piper has been assisting people whose births have never been registered to access a birth certificate by compiling extensive documentary evidence and advocating on their behalf with the relevant Birth Deaths and Marriages agency. We also work with the BDM agencies to improve their policies and procedures for late birth registrations to make it easier for people who do not have a birth certificate to access one.
What do we do?
- We help people obtain birth certificates.
- We represent women who have experienced sexual harassment and violence in compensation claims.
- We help refugees get work permits to enable them to gain meaningful employment.
- We teach young people from refugee and newly arrived communities about their rights.
- We support Indigenous-led solutions and work with Indigenous organizations, advising them on governance and strategy to help them grow, access new funding and build capacity.
- We second lawyers to governments in Pacific Island countries who advise on projects relating to infrastructure, urban development, trade and finance, and provide capacity building to government staff. This has the effect of improving national revenue, reducing debt and strengthening government management and institutions which in turn, improves the lives of local citizens.