Dear Asia Pro Bono & Access to Justice Exchange Supporters and Participants,
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 9APBC & A2J Exchange physical event to February 22-March 2, 2021. The A2J Exchange will occur from February 22-February 24 and February 28-March 2, and the 9th Asia Pro Bono Conference will occur from February 25-27. All events will still be held in Cebu, Philippines.
We deeply apologize for any and all inconveniences this may cause but are confident that you understand that the decision was made after significant consultation with many long time members of the event from throughout the globe. It was made with their full discussion, support and encouragement. This was a clear demonstration of how this important annual event belongs to all, and is equally everyone’s responsibility.
It though was decided to hold the event in early 2021, as opposed to September 2021, due to the need at this time to further strengthen pro bono and A2J services and initiatives, as we all are seeing so many justice issues resulting from the current pandemic.
Please also note there will very likely be a number of virtual Conference and A2J related online events, focusing on pro bono and access to justice, held during the original dates of the 9th APBC & A2J Exchange (September 21-September 29, 2020). The use of other virtual, online, communication platforms, enabling discussions and strategies, prior to September 2020 will also be explored. The APBC Secretariat will make sure to include this information on the APBC website, as well as send out global announcements about these developments.
If you have an interest in getting involved in assisting in the organizing of any of these virtual events, or the physical event in 2021, please feel free to contact the Asia Pro Bono Conference Secretariat at [email protected]
If you have already registered and paid for the 9APBC and/or any of the A2J Exchange events, you will have the option of being given a full refund, or having your registration fees be transferred to the event being held next year. More details about this will be listed on the APBC website, and you will be contacted directly. The revised registration information will be posted on the website very soon, including revised Early Bird and other deadlines. If you have submitted a request to present at the 9APBC and/or A2J Exchange, the Programme Committee will follow up with you in the near future and inquire as to whether you still would like to present in 2021. If you have not yet submitted a presentation, but are interested in doing so, revised guidelines and deadlines on how to do this will be posted soon.
We once again want to thank you for reaching out and demonstrating your interest and commitment to being a part of the Asia/Global Pro Bono and A2J Movement. We also wish that you, your family, friends and colleagues, stay safe during these very challenging times. We know we will make it through, and come out stronger. While there may be affronts to justice during this period, we will all stand together (but currently with respect for social distancing measures) and collaboratively work to find solutions.
Thank you again for all that you do, and we look forward to being connected to you virtually in 2020, and meeting up in February-March 2021.
The Asia Pro Bono Conference & A2J Exchange Secretariat & Consortium