The International Legal Foundation’s Community Conversations aim to provide a space to reimagine, recommit, and reinspire all of us who care about building a more just world.
One year ago, the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan, threatening the hard-won human rights and women’s rights gains that the ILF’s committed defense lawyers have made over the past two decades. Much public discourse has been focused on evacuations and those who have left Afghanistan, but millions of Afghans remain in the country including ILF lawyers fighting on the frontlines of justice.
On August 17, 2022, members of the ILF’s Afghanistan leadership team, country director Mr. Mohammad Nabi Waqar and former deputy country director and advisor Ms. Samira Eshaqzai, will join us to discuss Afghanistan’s deepening crisis in access to justice, and the ILF’s work to address it.
In 2003, the ILF opened the first public defender office in Afghanistan with two pioneering Afghan lawyers, including the first female defense lawyer in the country. For 20 years, the ILF Afghanistan team grew, expanded, and advanced critical reforms in access to justice across the country. To date, the ILF has provided legal aid services to more than 65,000 people across 22 provinces.
The ILF has continued to operate in Afghanistan since August 2021. Despite significant challenges, ILF lawyers have demonstrated the critical role of a strong civil society by gaining access to courts and prisons, providing legal representation to vulnerable clients, and winning positive case outcomes.