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July 29, 2020

Annual 2020: Hong Kong democracy advocate receives 2020 ABA Human Rights Award

Margaret Ngoi-Yee Ng is the recipient of the 2020 American Bar Association International Human Rights Award in recognition of her efforts to advance human rights and democracy in Hong Kong.

The award was presented during the ABA Virtual Annual Meeting

The ABA International Human Rights Award was established to honor and give public recognition to an individual or organization that has made an exceptional contribution to the advancement of human rights outside of the United States. The award is given on behalf of the ABA Center for Human RightsSection of International LawSection of Civil Rights and Social JusticeSection of Litigation and Rule of Law Initiative.

Ng is a barrister, journalist, and former politician based in Hong Kong. She has had an active role in the opposition movement against the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill of 2019, an extradition bill that would allow Hong Kong to detain and transfer people wanted in countries and territories with which it has no formal extradition agreements, including Taiwan and the Chinese mainland.

Among her notable accomplishments, Ng co-founded the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund to gather public donations to provide financial assistance for medical treatment, legal representation, and humanitarian relief to people injured or arrested in the protest movement. As of February 2020, the fund has helped more than 10,000 victims.

Ng has a long record of public service. Called to the Hong Kong Bar in 1988, Ng was an elected member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong from 1995 to 1997, and again from 1998 to 2012. During her time in public office, she chaired the Panel of Administration of Justice and Legal Services and served on numerous committees. She was engaged in such issues as the independence of the judiciary, the fundamental importance of an independent legal profession and the Bar, access to justice through the legal aid system, and fostering pro bono representation.

She has remained active in Hong Kong’s democracy movement after stepping down from the Legislative Council and continues to advocate for human rights and the rule of law, both as a media commentator and in representing litigants in constitutional challenges.