Davos, Switzerland – January 16, 2017 – “World events in 2016 created a growing sense of divisiveness, fear and distrust of leadership and governance. The 2017 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting theme, ‘Responsive and Responsible Leadership,’ offers us a platform to address these and other global challenges in new ways,” says Karen Tse, founder and CEO of International Bridges to Justice (IBJ).

IBJ is calling on industry, government and faith leaders on the occasion of the 2017 WEF Annual Meeting in Davos to develop a clear agenda for access to justice. At the event “From Fear to Hope: Leadership on the Road to Justice” taking place at the historic 16th century Grosse Stube, the Davos Town Hall, on Wednesday January 18 at 7:30 AM, IBJ is proud to launch the Declaration on Access to Justice to Prevent Torture.

Since 2000 IBJ has worked in over 40 countries to support the local legal defender community to ensure people’s rights are respected, be it due process, access to counsel, a fair trial or protection from abuse. The group was founded by The Rev. Karen Tse, Esq., an American of Chinese heritage who was a public-defender in California before attending Harvard Divinity School. Her passionate TED Talk on legal rights has inspired more than half a million people worldwide.

“With the advent of UN SDG 16 focusing on justice, IBJ’s dream is to ensure that access to justice for every man woman and child can become a reality,” says Karen Tse. “It is doable and now is the time to come together and move towards action.”

The Rev. Karen Tse, Esq. is a Unitarian minister and former public defender in San Diego. She devoted her life to rescuing people trapped in broken legal systems after observing Southeast Asian refugees detained in a local prison without trial, during a research trip in the 1980s. In 1994 she moved to Cambodia to train the country’s first group of public defenders and subsequently served as a United Nations Judicial Mentor. After seeing thousands of prisoners, including very young children, being imprisoned without trials, Karen founded International Bridges to Justice in 2000.

The Declaration can be signed online as a commitment to a new equilibrium in justice, where all men, women and children have access to competent legal counsel and no longer are subject to torture as an investigative tool.

Press contact: Sonia Liang

Email: davos@ibj.org

Telephone: +41 22 731 2441