As part of Ropes & Gray’s global pro bono partnership with the international nongovernmental organization Lawyers Without Borders (LWOB), a cross-practice team of attorneys traveled to Tanzania in February 2017. Health care partner Deborah Kantar Gardner and hedge funds associate Adam Dobson spent a week in Dar es Salaam providing training to local justice officials in the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking crimes. While Tanzania passed the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act in 2008, forced labor and sex trafficking continue to be a serious problem, as the country faces enormous challenges in identifying and prosecuting these cases under the law.
Ms. Gardner, Mr. Dobson and Ms. Aglugub were part of a larger LWOB faculty that included four U.S. federal judges, five other law firm volunteers and three independent professionals. Over the course of five days, the group worked with 80 Tanzanian police officers, prosecutors and magistrates, holding lectures, workshops and panel discussions about the application and interpretation of the country’s anti-trafficking law. While LWOB has conducted numerous trainings in Africa before, this is the first time they have done so in Tanzania. According to Christina Storm, executive director of the organization, “We could not have delivered this project to the high standard required without the Ropes & Gray team, who showed total commitment, adaptability, professionalism and cultural awareness.”
This is the second time that a Ropes & Gray team has participated in a Lawyers Without Borders program since the firm began its collaboration with the NGO in 2015. Last October, government enforcement partner Amanda Raad and government enforcement associate David Chen traveled to Kenya to help train justice officials to prosecute wildlife poachers more effectively. In addition, lawyers from all offices have collaborated on projects such as anti-wildlife trafficking research for the organization.
Ropes & Gray has a long-established commitment to public service and devoted more than 134,000 hours to pro bono work in 2016. Read more about the firm’s pro bono program.
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