Nigerian lawyer, Adeola Oyinlade, wins International Bar Association’s Human Rights Award 2018

Nigerian lawyer, Adeola Oyinlade, wins International Bar Association’s Human Rights Award 2018

– Pioneers mobile technology human rights empowerment apps in languages
– Charges lawyers to use law as “a glue that holds the society together”

A Nigerian leading human rights lawyer, Mr. Adeola Austin Oyinlade has been declared winner of the International Bar Association’s Award for Outstanding Contribution by a Legal Practitioner to Human Rights for 2018. The prestigious award was presented to him at this year’s IBA Conference in Rome, Italy.

Mr. Oyinlade, principal partner at ADEOLA OYINLADE & CO law firm and founder, Constitutional Rights Awareness and Liberty Initiative in Nigeria, emerged winner ahead of other finalists from many countries across the world.

Each year, the IBA presents the award to an outstanding lawyer in the world of human rights law. The IBA has a membership of over 80,000 individual lawyers and 195 bar associations and law societies spanning all continents across the world.

Mr. Oyinlade, a known human rights figure, has distinguished himself through his courageous stand for human rights and his pro-bono legal services to the poor in Nigeria. As a lawyer advocating equitable, just and fair society over the years, he has taken his human rights empowerment further by simplifying human rights laws and safeguards to the understanding of ordinary people on the street in English and major local languages including Pidgin, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba spoken by over 100 million people in Nigeria.

The IBA award winner pioneered human rights empowerment via mobile technology in the most populous black nation when he created ‘Know Your Rights

The IBA award winner pioneered human rights empowerment via mobile technology in the most populous black nation when he created ‘Know Your Rights Nigeria’ app for millions of android, iPhone and web users in Nigeria. The app and the web version of his work simplify all human rights laws in force with safeguards in English, Pidgin, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba languages alongside platforms where users who are Nigerians and foreign nationals alike engage him and his team of over 50 lawyers daily for free legal support on human rights issues.

Mr. Oyinlade also created platforms on the app where users report abuse anonymously, get safeguards on what steps to take in the face of assaults, and get connected to security forces for help, thereby pioneering the first ever human rights empowerment innovation with mere push of buttons in the palms in languages in the era of mobile technological advancement.

Since the human right lawyer unveiled the app and web version for human rights empowerment, it has proved very effective for its free access, speedy dissemination of human rights information and free legal advisory with over 200 thousand people as beneficiaries. The rights empowerment app in major local languages has made a real difference for the situation of the defenseless and ordinary people in Nigeria.

At the continental level, through advocacy, the Nigerian human rights and international law expert has also proffered solutions to human rights issues in Africa, including the South Sudan Political Crisis, the Central African Republic Crisis, the Congo Democratic Republic Armed conflict, and the Libyan peace talks among others with relative impacts. He worked as a resource person to the African Union Commission on the implementation of African Youth Charters and delivered papers on how AU member states can reform local laws for the implementation of the charter.

At the presentation of the award at Roma Convention Center La Nuvola, the conference venue on Friday 12 October, 2018, IBA stated the prestigious Award is for outstanding contribution by a Legal Practitioner to Human Rights in which Mr. Oyinlade came top among lawyers across the world.

The IBA Human Rights Award honoree, while giving his remark, thanked the Global lawyers’ body for the award and said such recognition is a charge to do more. “Recognition of this magnitude brings more responsibilities. Since the task that follows such responsibilities will give birth to deliverables and outcomes that will shape the world for better, I am happier and fully ready to carry on”, Oyinlade said.

According to the honouree, “As it appears to me, we are not short of preachers against human rights abuse or short of preaching against serial violations of human rights. We are only short of compliance with the rule of law. As the world is commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this year, we all have more work to do to make the world fair and just. The world is looking up to us (lawyers) to consistently use our legal expertise as a tool of social engineering and problem-solving. I believe and hope that we shall continue to apply our knowledge of law as a glue that holds the society together”, he said while calling on lawyers to take the leading role in expanding the frontiers of human rights.


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