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Law Society honours two human rights advocates

Friday, February 24, 2017 @ 8:58 AM | By Elisa Birnbaum

The Law Society of Upper Canada honoured human rights activists Waleed Abu al-Khair and Cindy Blackstock with the Human Rights Award,  

The two human rights defenders were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the advancement of human rights and the promotion of the rule of law here at home and abroad.

Abu al-Khair is a prominent human rights lawyer and activist and the founder of the organization, Monitor of Human Rights, in Saudi Arabia. He has worked tirelessly to defend human rights and the rule of law in Saudi Arabia, in the face of extreme adversity and at the cost of his own freedom. Abu al-Khair has been arbitrarily imprisoned in Saudi Arabia since 2014. Gail Davidson, executive director of Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada, accepted the award on his behalf.

Blackstock is a highly respected advocate for First Nations children and youth in Canada and has dedicated her time addressing systemic discrimination in the child welfare system. She is a member of the Gitksan First Nation and has 25 years of social work experience in child protection and Indigenous children's rights.

The Human Rights Award was established in 2013 by the law society as part of its long-standing commitment to human rights, the rule of law and access to justice. It is granted every two years to individuals for their devotion to these principles either over a long term, or for a single, outstanding act of service.