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Fasken Receives Children’s Advocate Award at the African Legal Awards 2020

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Johannesburg (South Africa) – Fasken received the “Children’s Advocate Award, supported by Save the Children” at the African Legal Awards 2020. The ceremony, which was held virtually this year, was hosted by ALM’s Legal Week and The Corporate Counsel Association of South Africa (CCASA), with 10 per cent of proceeds supporting the awards’ charity partner Save the Children. The annual awards recognise the exceptional achievements from Africa’s legal community for the year, honouring the best legal work, top deals and most complex cases.

The Firm was recognized for pro bono children rights legal work undertaken by Andricia Hinckemann and Sushila Dhever (who also pioneered the project). The project provides access to justice for vulnerable children and works to prevent secondary victimisation of children by the court system. Developed in partnership with Families South Africa (FAMSA) and the Nisaa Institute for Women’s Development, the project is a pro bono legal service that aims to ensure that children are provided with psychosocial support as they navigate the court system and that lawyers are adequately trained and supported to work with vulnerable children. It is facilitated with the assistance of social workers that work with family, children’s rights and gender based violence matters. Young practitioners at the Firm, passionate about civil justice and children’s rights, also actively participated in the project.

The pro bono legal services rendered range from maintenance, care and contact agreements, assignment of parental rights and responsibilities agreements, parenting plans, late registrations of birth, social grants, assisting asylum seekers and refugee children with access to healthcare and public schools, placing unaccompanied minors in places of safety, assisting children in instances of domestic and gender based violence and child abuse. Advice and assistance was also provided to undocumented minors, and community training and workshops were conducted to create advocacy. 

Through this work, Fasken has created a platform that actively supports vulnerable children in the legal system, building and restoring communities in the process. 

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