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Since 1998, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) has provided training, supported practical research, supplied technical comparative expertise and facilitated professional exchange relationships between Chinese legal reformers and their counterparts abroad. Local partnership and collaboration lie at the heart of ABA ROLI’s programs, whose partners include China’s judiciary, bar associations, universities, civil society organizations (CSOs) and legal scholars.
Among our multi-faceted efforts, ABA ROLI works to bolster implementation of important criminal justice reforms, to increase access to legal aid for criminal defendants and to strengthen defense attorneys’ skills. We support efforts to combat domestic violence by providing specialized training and technical assistance for judges, lawyers and other legal professionals. ABA ROLI also builds the capacity of CSOs to engage in public interest advocacy. Notably, we collaborate with environmental CSOs to advocate for stronger environmental laws and investigate cases of heavy metal pollution. We are supporting disabled persons organizations (DPOs) to develop China’s first disability rights curriculum for use in universities and law schools and partnering with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) CSOs to enhance awareness of LGBT rights and develop advocacy tools. In addition, we support the training of CSOs in requesting greater government transparency and public participation in areas such as environmental protection and government spending.