Chinese Urgent Action Working Group

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About Us

The Chinese Urgent Action Working Group (人权卫士紧急救援协会) works to strengthen Chinese rule of law by encouraging improved policy, and particulary in strengthening enforcement of the legal system. To achieve its objectives, the organization undertakes rapid response assistance for rights defenders in need, through facilitating legal aid, provides support for administrative lawsuits against unlawful behaviour targetting disadvanted groups, and trains rural lawyers in more effectively providing legal aid to those who have suffered violations of their human rights through unlawful behaviour by local government and/or other actors.

The Chinese Urgent Action Working Group also regularly undertakes research and publishes both smaller 'Brief Analyses' and more extensive research reports on trends in rights violations and the situation for different target groups within the Chinese legal system.

TRAINING PROGRAM The Chinese Urgent Action Working Group conducts training sessions for predominantly rural 'barefoot' lawyers, who, despite not being certified lawyers, provide the bulk of legal aid outside major urban centers. 'Barefoot' lawyers also tend to take on more sensistive cases involving human rights violations. The program carries out step by step training of small groups of 'barefoot' lawyers, training them in primarily administrative and procedural law, as well as in relevant interational laws and mechinisms, with added training in IT- and communication. The use of smaller groups in training is designed to build cohesive, trusting groups of lawyers who can and will assist each other through sharing information, cases, and work-related experiences.

URGENT ACTION PROGRAM The Chinese Urgent Action Working Group launches 'urgent actions' on behalf of illegally persecuted rights defenders in retaliation for their legal activity. Assistance takes many forms, but often centers on legal aid. The organization also provides financial assistance to defenders in need, or to their families, while working to overcome difficult situations. The organization also facilitates assistance from other organizations and institutions, usually those outside of China, to assist defenders in need.

LEGAL AID STATIONS The Chinese Urgent Action Working Group assists disadvantaged groups and individuals in seeking redress for rights violations by government and non-government bodies working in collusion with the government. The organization provides legal counsel, assistance and representation to assist with a variety of violations. Lawsuits often take the form of public interest litigation. Our lawyers also provide linformation on the legal system in general, or provide referalls to other lawyers when the situation necessitates assistance from outside of our organization.