Human Rights and Protection of Lawyers

January 23, 2015 – Day of the Endangered Lawyer – UIA's Solidarity with Philippine Lawyers

On January 23, 2015, the International Day of the Endangered Lawyer, lawyers from all over Europe protested in solidarity with Philippine lawyers who are threatened and even killed because they defend the rights of the poorest and work on cases of human rights violations. 

Since 2001, 41 Philippines lawyers has been murdered, nine (22%) of whom were directly involved in handling human rights cases or issues.

On top of this, 57 lawyers have been threatened, harassed, intimidated, put under surveillance, labelled and attacked in other forms, a sizable 43 (76%) of whom were directly involved in human rights cases or advocacies. The documented reports about the killings and attacks on Philippine lawyers show an increasing number of killings, harassments and other attacks on the profession. Only very scarcely a perpetrator is arrested and nearly never prosecuted or punished by the courts.

The UIA, represented by its President, Mr. Miguel Loinaz, was in front of the Philippine Embassy in Paris standing in solidarity with our colleagues and invited all its members to protest in front of Philippine embassies and consulates across the world.

The UIA, together with other fifteen international and national organizations of lawyers, signed a petition calling on the Philippine government to prevent all forms of harassment of lawyers and to end impunity by prosecuting perpetrators of rights violations (see below).

The Day of the Endangered Lawyer is an initiative which was started by AED-EDL in 2010, in support of the lawyers of Iran. It was dedicated to lawyers in Turkey in 2012, to the Basque Lawyers in 2013 and Colombian lawyers in 2014.

Please find below a basic report on attacks against Philippine lawyers and the 2015 Day of the Endangered Lawyer Press release