International Human Rights Day

  • Media
December 07,2023
As 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence concludes, we remain committed to actively work towards ending gender-based violence through our pro bono legal work, our fundraising and volunteering initiatives to assist women and girls.

On this day, we also acknowledge International Human Rights Day on Sunday 10 December, echoing this year's theme: Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All.

Since 2021, the CBP Foundation has worked closely with Refugee Legal, Australia's largest provider of free specialist legal assistance fighting for the rights of people seeking asylum, refugees and disadvantaged migrants. Since 2021 a total of 28 lawyers and non-lawyers from Colin Biggers & Paisley have volunteered with Refugee Legal ensuring access to justice and assistance with protection claims for Refugee Legal clients.

Our lawyers have assisted asylum seekers to finalise their Protection Visa applications through the Fast-Track Clinic. We have drafted applications and submissions detailing the asylum seekers fear of persecution and the grounds for protection including race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group and political opinion.

We have assisted asylum seekers through the Temporary Protection Visa/Safe Haven Enterprise Visa Conversion Clinic assisting individuals to apply for a permanent protection visa.

When Kabul fell to the Taliban on 15 August 2021, our lawyers mobilised to advise the Afghani community on the Afghanistan Clinic Project - where we drafted applicant's claims for protection and non-legal assistance to refugee legal with pre-filling applicant's visa forms.

Most recently we have mobilised our lawyers to assist on the Ministerial Intervention Clinic drafting claimants' submission requesting direct intervention from the Minister of Immigration providing information about the applicant's circumstances and why their circumstances are unique and exceptional, and that the applicant would suffer serious, ongoing and irreversible harm and continuing hardship if they were returned to their country of origin.

Harmonie Cribbes, Volunteer Coordinator at Refugee Legal discusses the working relationship with CBP over the years:

For over four years, CBP lawyers have partnered with Refugee Legal to provide critical legal help through our special legal clinics. CBP have helped people seeking asylum, refugees and vulnerable migrants from countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, Sudan and Myanmar to seek safety in Australia, including many women and their children fleeing gender-based violence. CBP's pro bono assistance has changed the course of many people's lives for the better.
Joshua Ward, Mary Kinna and Trevor Ho volunteer on the Fast Track Clinic, Temporary Protection Visa Clinic and Ministerial Intervention Clinic.

We sat down with Joshua, Mary and Trevor to discuss their time as volunteers:   
I have been volunteering with Refugee Legal for over a year. It has been an eye opening and humbling experience, not only in understanding the complexities of migration law, but in assisting the clients who have been courageous enough to seek a better life for themselves and their family.
                                                                     Mary Kinna, Special Counsel
Volunteering with Refugee Legal Clinic has been a rewarding and educational experience. From preparing applications to convert Temporary Protection Visas and Safe Haven Enterprise Visas into permanent Resolution of Status Visas, to drafting applications for Ministerial intervention and speaking with refugees through interpreters to obtain instructions, it presents as an opportunity to apply legal and interpersonal skills in a unique context. It has also allowed me to obtain a better understanding of the political and social issues faced by refugees in their home countries. I highly recommend others to volunteer.
                                                                           Trevor Ho, Special Counsel
My time working in the Refugee Legal Clinic has been an enjoyable experience where I have been able to provide assistance to those who may otherwise be unable to access the support they need. 
The work undertaken, is not complex and provides a varied experience where you have the opportunity to make a real difference in people's lives. Some of the clients are in positions where they have been unable to see their family for multiple years. Whilst our role is only small, it can make a huge difference to those we assist.
                                                                               Joshua Ward, Solicitor