INAUGURAL ASIA PRO BONO VIRTUAL CONFERENCE & ACCESS TO JUSTICE EXCHANGE
It is so clear that since the Inaugural Asia Pro Bono Conference was first held in Laos in 2012, the world has been undergoing great transitions. While this has been true, each year since that first incredible event in Laos, there is no denying that the year 2020 marks a type of transition likely unseen and unexperienced before. Some of these transitions have proved challenging, but simultaneously there have been many positive components that have arisen.
One of these positive components is the Inaugural Asia Pro Bono Virtual Conference & A2J Exchange (September 24-28, 2020). Due to the current situation of the COVID-19 virus, the 9APBC and Access to Justice Exchange, original scheduled to be held in Cebu, Philippines in September, 2020 had to be posted to February 22-March 2, 2021. However, in postponing the physical conference it was recognized that was a great need to continue to stay connected and further strengthen pro bono and A2J services and initiatives, especially in this era of the Corona Virus.
As a result, it was decided that the Inaugural Asia Pro Bono Virtual Conference & A2J Exchange will be held between 24-28 September, 2020 (during the dates of the original 9APBC & A2J Exchange). This epic, virtual event, will focus on many pro bono and access to justice issues, including providing a platform to discuss justice issues resulting from the current pandemic.
The relevant, and incredibly timely theme of the Conference is:
“Pro Bono in a Transitioning Environment”
Within the context of this overarching theme, there will be a number of session themes, likely including, but not limited to:
• Achieving Justice through Prison Decarceration
• Alternative Voices in the Justice Sector
• Bar Associations and Pro Bono : Roles, Responsibilities and Opportunities
• Combating Racism : Pro Bono and Criminal Justice Reform
• Cross-Border Pro Bono Alliances
• Developing Pro Bono Systems
• Environmental/Climate Justice and Pro Bono Support
• Evolutionary Justice Trends in Combating Gender-Based Violence
• Global Poverty, Access to Justice & Pro Bono
• Innovations in Pro Bono Roundtables
• Justice/Clinical Legal Education and Pro Bono
• Labour Protections and Pro Bono Support
• Leveraging IT and Online Pro Bono Services in a Transitioning Environment
• Paralegals, Legal Empowerment and Pro Bono Synergies
• Pro Bono Partnerships : Needs and Necessities
• Pro Bono Protection of Civil Liberties in Times of Crisis
• Pro Bono Protections of the Marginalized in Transitioning Environments
• Pro Bono Support for Reproductive Rights
• Strengthening the Business and Human Rights Movement Through Pro Bono Support
• Support. Don’t Punish. People Who Use Drugs and Justice
• Tackling COVID-19 Injustices through Pro Bono
• The Continuing Expansion and Impact of the Asia & Global Pro Bono Movement
• The Fundamentals of Pro Bono
• The Role of Pro Bono in Health Justice
• The Synergies and Common Elements of Pro Bono and Legal Aid
• The Transitioning Environment of In-House Counsel Pro Bono
These sessions will continue to be engaging, informative, interactive, and much like almost all of the APBC sessions at the physical conferences, fun. Equally so, there will be an incredible array of presenters, from the Asia region and globally, who are renowned for being front-line access to justice and pro bono champion. The sessions will be in keeping with the “values” that the APBC has come to be known for and the Inaugural APBVC & A2J Exchange will work hard to ensure that as many of these values are kept, and new ones developed.
The Conference will last 5 days, with at least 4 sessions a day. The sessions will be either 60 or 90 minutes long, and will fit into the following schedule.
All times are: (GMT +7 (ICT)
There may be other sessions planned outside of the above schedule as well.
In conjunction with the substantive sessions, the APBVC will also provide networking breakout rooms, where participants can go to virtually meet each other, and connect/re-connect with like minded persons from around the globe.
For those participants who have been to previous APBCs before, this will also provide them a great opportunity to meet up with friends and colleagues who have been separated from them due to the current traveling/health restrictions.
The APBVC will also have its traditional Conference Dinner (participants will cook/prepare foods from their own countries, and share them virtually with each other), along with the APBC’s famous Cultural Performances, where participants from different countries will perform different access to justice related songs, dances, poems, etc. from their home countries.
The other great news is that most of the sessions will be recorded and available for download for you to have the flexibility to review them at your leisure.
There is so much more than what is written here, so we welcome you to register as soon as you can (and consider making a donation if you are able to) and we all look forward to seeing so many of you in September.
Finally, and most importantly, in these times of transition, it is even more important to remember to:
Keep Calm and Do Pro Bono
The Asia Pro Bono Consortium & Asia Pro Bono Consortium Secretariat
POSTPONEMENT OF PHYSICAL 9APBC & A2J EXCHANGE
Due to the current situation of the COVID-19 virus, and the need to ensure both the safety of the 9APBC & A2J Exchange participants, and proper, effective and impactful planning, a decision was made by members of the Global/Regional/Local Organizing Committees. This decision was to postpone the APBC & A2J Exchange physical event.
Each year’s Conference is organised by volunteers, NGOs and others with the support of our sponsors and a range of organisations around the Asia region.
Each year, the Asia Pro Bono Conference and Access to Justice Exchange is run on a revenue-neutral basis meaning we minimise the registration fees as much as possible and use any surplus to subsidise the attendance of regional pro bono champions, who could not otherwise afford to attend. You can help directly. Learn more about how to become a partner through sponsorship.
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