Too often, in every corner of the globe, suspects are treated as convicts the minute they enter the criminal justice system. Whether detainees are tortured and coerced to “confess,” or find themselves unjustly excluded from legal representation — they are, in essence, “guilty until proven innocent.”
To help preserve human dignity in these settings, the Levi Strauss Foundation and International Bridges to Justice (IBJ) are supporting pioneering legal advocates from all over the world through the JusticeMakersannual competition.
This year, the newly selected JusticeMakers Fellows bring transformative ideas to advance justice for people affected by HIV/AIDS in prisons, detention centers, court rooms and communities. HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination prevail at all levels of society—but when imprisoned, people living with HIV/AIDS are often highly vulnerable to human rights abuses.
To these people, the 2012 JusticeMakers Fellows bring hope. Here are some of their projects:
In Kenya, Dennis Kipruto Mungo will sensitize prison staff about the needs of imprisoned mothers and their children living with HIV/AIDS.
In Russia, Larissa Solovyeva will work to expand free legal protection for imprisoned people living with HIV/AIDS.
In India, Garima Tiwari will train lawyers, prison officials, and police officials on the rights and needs of people living with HIV/AIDS within the criminal justice system of Bhopal.
“JusticeMakers fellows are on the frontlines of the International Bridges to Justice’s mission,” says IBJ Founder and CEO Karen Tse. “These newly-chosen JusticeMakers will achieve breakthroughs in their local criminal justice systems. They are angels of justice to prisoners living with HIV/AIDS.”
Together with the Levi Strauss Foundation, we are proud and honored to support the courageous work of these pioneers —and we look forward to sharing their projects in 2013.
Learn more about these and other Fellows’ work in this brief video: