Thirty years ago, a group of attorneys in Minnesota came together around common concern for a startling lack of accountability for unlawful deaths around the world, and specifically following the murder of The Philippines’s opposition leader, Benigno Aquino, who was gunned down moments after his return to his country after a self-imposed exile in the United States. The group of Minnesota lawyers became The Advocates for Human Rights and their important work established standards for investigations of unlawful deaths and for holding governments accountable for investigating murders and seeking justice became an international standard put forward by the United Nations and is known to this day as the Minnesota Protocol. A better telling of this story and how the Minnesota Protocol has been used in the decades since is on the organization’s website. It’s well worth reading.

The Advocates for Human Rights have continued to work globally on behalf of their mission to “implement international human rights standards to promote civil society and reinforce the rule of law.” Their focus areas include women’s human rights, refugee and immigrant rights, international justice, and advocacy.

Last week, a team from Thomson Reuters was presented a Volunteers Award at the Advocates’ Annual Human Rights Awards Dinner. The Thomson Reuters team was cited for its legal research project in support of The Advocates’ global lobbying efforts opposing the death penalty and supporting both women’s and LGBT rights. Among the team are colleagues Mark Petty, Bryan Bearss, Chelsea Reynolds, Matthew Buell, Ethan Wood, Marianne Krijic, Ben Petersburg, Blake Hatling.

Three times a year, the team members pore through thousands of UN statements to identify countries that are directionally aligned with the Advocates’ positions. This helps human rights defenders prioritize their lobbying as well as tap into potential international collaborators. Their work was recognized as having spot-on accuracy in a quick and easy-to-use tool.

You can read The Advocates’ description of our work and all of the award recipients by clicking here.

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share