23 SEP 2021
15.30 – 17.30
The Global Refugee Forum Legal Community Pledge – Progress made and next steps
In the lead up to the inaugural Global Refugee Forum (GRF), a core group of actors from the global legal community conducted outreach among law firms, bar associations, corporations and civil society organizations to develop and join a pledge designed to address the unmet legal needs of refugees, asylum-seekers, stateless persons, and other forcibly displaced persons. As a result, 28 law firms, bar associations and corporations as well as 55 civil society organizations joined the pledge to support efforts to protect and find solutions for refugees, asylum-seekers, stateless persons, and other forcibly displaced persons in solidarity with each other and other stakeholders as part of a multi-stakeholder and partnership approach. Among other pledges, the commitment of firms to provide 127,000 pro bono hours was highlighted in the opening plenary of the GRF and has been lauded globally. In 2020, the private sector reported providing over 164,294 pro bono hours in fulfillment of its GRF pro bono commitment, surpassing the number of hours pledged at the GRF by over 30%.
Drawing on the experiences of the first year of implementation of the GRF Legal Community Pledge, this session will highlight the value and limitation of collaborative public interest law projects and discuss what lies ahead for the GRF Legal Community Pledge. This will include discussions around the importance of ensuring that the implementation of the Pledge is informed by the views of the displaced communities whose legal needs it is designed to meet. This session will also highlight existing good practices and opportunities for how actors from Asia can get involved in this global movement.
Michelle Virgiany | Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung