OCTOBER 2011

The Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice of the New York City Bar mobilizes the global legal profession to engage in activities that promote social justice, human rights and democratic values and principles. We perform our work in partnership with private- and public-sector lawyers, members of the judiciary, law schools, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the regions where we work.

Vance Center Updates Communications Tools

Santiago Conference Report 

Conversation with Delphine Djiraibe

Address by Michele Bachelet of UN Women

Spotlight: Foster Care in Argentina

Vance Center Updates Communications Tools
The Vance Center is pleased to announce the launch of a revamped communications platform. We invite you to visit our improved website at www.vancecenter.org and sign up to receive eNotes. We also encourage you to friend us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Stay tuned for more information on our work.

 

Santiago Conference Report 
The Vance Center has published a comprehensive report, For the Public Good, available on our website. The report highlights the results of a conference held in Santiago, Chile on April 7-8 organized by the Vance Center in collaboration with Fundación Pro Bono Chile entitled "Pro Bono and the Legal Profession: Strengthening Access to Justice." The conference was attended by more than 250 legal professionals from across the hemisphere. The report provides detailed information about future work in the region. One of the results of the conference is creation of the International Pro Bono Network, a regional network of attorneys and clearinghouses that engages in high impact public-interest projects.

 

Conversation with Delphine Djiraibe 
Delphine Djiraibe, the co-founder and principal attorney of the Public Interest Law Center in Chad, spoke at a breakfast meeting hosted by the Vance Center on June 13. Ms. Djiraibe described the current human rights situation in Chad, a very poor, landlocked country of 10 million people, and the efforts of the Public Interest Law Center to provide low-cost legal services to citizens and to hold the government accountable for human rights abuses.

 

Address by Michele Bachelet of UN Women
Michele Bachelet, UN Under-Secretary General & Executive Director of UN Women, presented an address at the New York City Bar Association’s Great Hall on June 21. Her subject was the progress that has been made by UN Women, the new UN agency that is focused on promoting gender equality and women's empowerment, and its vision for the future. Ms. Bachelet served as President of Chile from 2006 to 2010. She was appointed by UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon as head of the newly created UN Women in September 2010. Ms. Bachelet appeared at the City Bar at the invitation of the Vance Center and the City Bar's UN Committee.

 

Spotlight: Foster Care in Argentina
Our longstanding Argentine clearinghouse partner Comisión de Trabajo Pro Bono e Interés Público of the Colegio de Abogados de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires has spearheaded a project to assist children who are in foster care due to abandonment, abuse or legal separation from their parents. Tragically, these vulnerable children often languish in temporary facilities for long periods as overburdened family courts are slow to process applications for adoption. Over 140 Argentine lawyers, most of whom are from firms that are signatories of the Pro Bono Declaration of the Americas,  have volunteered to provide legal representation to more than 200 such children to expedite their transition from foster residences to permanent homes. "A child should not spend his life in transitory housing," stated Victoria Acosta, Director of Familias de Esperanza.  "Thanks to the pro bono system which has helped expedite cases before the courts, children who were living under our provisional guardianship have been relocated more quickly to permanent family homes."