Access to Justice

Need
Migrant workers often struggle to understand and enforce their legal rights in Hong Kong. Language and cultural barriers, lack of knowledge and gaps in the access to justice system pose significant impediments. Pregnant women have employment and discrimination rights and protections. Babies have identity, paternity and maintenance rights.

 

 

Response
PathFinders’ legal team ensures that vulnerable babies, children and women receive quality legal advice and representation in a language they understand. We bridge a significant access to justice gap by identifying legal issues, finding lawyers to help and then supporting the women and children through the legal process and when appearing in courts and tribunals. Our guiding principle is that everyone should have equal access to, and is equal before, the law.

 

“PathFinders’ innovative and highly collaborative access to justice work not only helps the vulnerable and otherwise voiceless children and women PathFinders serves, it also enables Hong Kong’s lawyers to serve society through important pro bono work.”

The Honourable Anna WU Hung-yuk, GBS, JP

 

Actions
  • Identify and prepare legal cases
  • Partner with pro-bono lawyers to pursue claims
  • Assist and accompany clients to navigate the justice system
  • Educate mothers about their legal rights and obligations
  • Provide lawyers, law students, academics, interns and volunteers with street law experience

 

Accomplishments
 201420152016
Legal cases234555
Women helped173337
Babies and Children helped359
  • Partnered with, 20 law firms, 3 universities, 70 lawyers and 23 legal interns/volunteers
  • Contributed chapters to two law books
  • EXPERT ADVICE: Provided expert evidence in a landmark human trafficking for forced labour case
  • In 2016, women were not alone visiting lawyer, court or government office on 365 occasions
  • FIRST SEX DISCRIMINATION CASE: The first Sexual Discrimination case brought in HK by a domestic worker was heard in the District Court
  • NEGOTIATED REINSTATEMENT: Pro bono lawyers, working with PathFinders, negotiated reinstatement of two clients wrongfully dismissed by their employers while they were pregnant
  • COMPENSATION: Through out-of-court settlement, HK$752,538 was recovered in damages and compensation by four clients wrongfully dismissed by their employers when they were pregnant
  • DAVID CLARKE FELLOWSHIP: Won the David Clarke Fellowship to visit access to justice models around the world
  • MEDIA COVERAGE: Received significant media coverage of legal claims brought by clients