New York, NY (March 18, 2014) – The Leitner Center for International Law and Justice hosted its annual Human Rights Prize and Dinner on Monday, March 3, 2014. At this event, Lady Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, the Chief Justice of Ghana, gave the keynote address, in which she highlighted how the work of the Leitner Center in Ghana has had a positive and long-lasting impact on the Ghanaian legal system.
The Leitner Center also presented its 2014 Human Rights Award to the Rwanda Union of the Blind, a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for the rights of those with visual disabilities in Rwanda. Executive Director Donatilla Kanimba accepted the award on behalf of the Union.
Each year, the Leitner Center honors one of the activists or organizations with whom the Crowley Program worked during the prior year’s human rights fact-finding project. The 2013 Crowley Project focused on the human rights of people with disabilities in Rwanda, paying particular attention to the unique barriers that confront people with disabilities seeking inclusion and inclusive education.
For more information about Lady Justice Wood’s trip the New York, please refer to the following links:
Additional press coverage of the 2014 Human Rights Prize and Rwanda Union of the Blind:
Lady Justice Georgina Theodora Wood has had a distinguished career on the Bench spanning over thirty-five years. She is the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana and the first woman in Ghana to be elevated to this high office, constitutionally the fourth position after the President, Vice President, and Speaker of Parliament. Justice Wood was educated at the University of Ghana, Legon, and the Ghana School of Law, and served for three years in the Police Service as a Public Prosecutor. She was appointed to the Bench as a Magistrate of the District Court in 1973 and rose through the hierarchy of the court system, culminating in her appointment to the highest judicial office in 2007.
Donatilla Kanimba is the Executive Director of the Rwanda Union of the Blind, a position she has held since 1996. She has dedicated her life to promoting inclusive education and disability rights in Rwanda. Through dialogue with the government, partnerships with civil society organizations, and skills training services, Donatilla works to ensure that Rwandans with visual disabilities have equal educational, employment and social opportunities. Under her leadership, the Union launched the Masaka Resource Centre for the Blind, a centre that provides skills training to the blind so that they can lead independent lives. Having lost her sight at a young age, Donatilla attended a boarding school for those with visual disabilities in Thika, Kenya and later went on to attend Nairobi University.