Today, on International Human Rights Day, NautaDutilh is opening the pop-up exhibition My Human Rights Hero at their offices in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. NautaDutilh hopes to inspire its staff and clients by highlighting the importance of both human rights in its day-to-day practice and access to justice in this exhibition.
The original exhibition was initiated by Justice and Peace Netherlands and consists of photographic portraits and stories of twelve well-known and lesser known human rights defenders. Artist Julia Brants worked with photographer Gregor Servais to create the portraits, offering a glimpse into how these individuals work and what inspires them. She then came up with a remarkable way to bring the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) to life: she had photographer Arno Rotte photograph the skin of 30 people from around the world – emphasising the universal nature of human rights – and created a set of postcards on which these images served as backgrounds for the texts of UDHR articles.
The five portraits featured at NautaDutilh's offices until 17 January are of Kathleen Ferrier (former politician and human rights teacher at the Asian University for women in Bangladesh), Christina Moreno (human rights lawyer and founder of the She Matters foundation), Marcel Kleizen (co-founder of the social enterprise Humanity Cab) and Paul Vriend (former employee of The Ocean Cleanup).
Also portrayed is Joost Italianer, former NautaDutilh partner and, currently, an advisor to the firm, who is a long-serving member of the board of Lawyers for Lawyers, a foundation that works worldwide for oppressed lawyers. ‘The extent to which the independent role of the lawyer is protected is a measure of the rule of law and therefore also of human rights. I think certain events in recent months in the Netherlands illustrate that we shouldn't take the personal safety of lawyers for granted,' says Italianer. Read the full interview with Joost: Human rights heroes. Supporting lawyers around the world.
Petra Zijp, Managing Partner NautaDutilh: "We are grateful to have this exhibition in two of our offices. It has inspired us to not only recognise ‘Access to Justice' today, but to mark December as ‘Access to Justice Month', with for instance inspiration lunches and fundraising activities for Lawyers for Lawyers".
The original exhibition – which ran at Nutshuis in The Hague until February 2019 – was initiated by human rights organisation Justice and Peace Netherlands in collaboration with the NJCM and Pro Bono Connect. As a member of Pro Bono Connect, NautaDutilh offers pro bono legal advice or support in legal proceedings to organisations and initiatives that are committed to protecting human rights or the public interest.