Ten lawyers were honored the title of the National Outstanding Lawyers for Protection of Workers' Rights and Interests, including four women lawyers, at a commendation conference held in Beijing on November 9.
The All-China Federation of Trade Unions, the Ministry of Justice and the All-China Lawyers Association, organizers of the award, also summarized the progress of a three-year public-welfare legal campaign (2017-2019) at the meeting, which was designed to serve rural migrant workers in cities.
Wang Hui, 48, one of the awardees, has served as chief legal-aid counsel for provincial and city-level trade unions in East China's Jiangxi Province since 2018, and has worked on the protection of workers' rights and interests and public legal services for more than 10 years.
Wang led her team to receive public complaints and proposals, provide legal aid, mediate labor disputes, conduct legal risk examinations for companies and promote legal education. Wang's team has provided more than 4,700 legal consultations for workers, especially rural migrant workers, handled more than 780 legal-aid claims, and retrieved workers' economic losses of more than 38 million yuan (US $5.74 million).
Another honoree Ma Huaping, 41, has led her team members to provide free legal services for disadvantaged groups, especially needy workers, since she founded Wanzheng Law Firm in Hefei, capital city of East China's Anhui Province, in 2009.
Ma has cooperated with the Hefei Federation of Trade Unions and the Hefei Legal Aid Center to set up the first legal aid station in her law firm.
In recent years, Ma's team has organized more than 300 activities such as free lectures on legal education, with 20,000 people having been trained, and the team has given more than 3,000 free legal consultations.
The team has offered legal support on a regular basis and has handled multiple workers' rights protection cases for free or at low fees, recovering nearly 50 million yuan (US $7.55 million) for employees in trouble.
They also explore targeted methods in workers' rights protection as well as effective ways to uphold equity and justice, and help vulnerable groups.
Li Keyi, 53, a recipient of the honorary title, has been working in the law profession for nearly 20 years. She always puts the social responsibility of lawyers first, and endeavors to protect the legitimate rights and interests of workers.
In 2014, Li motivated 30 volunteer lawyers from seven law firms in Sanmenxia City in Central China's Henan Province to jointly establish the first legal service volunteers' group for workers in Henan, affiliated to the Sanmenxia Federation of Trade Unions.
Led by Li, the volunteers' group has handled more than 400 cases of workers' rights protection, provided free legal advice to more than 1,500 people, and retrieved nearly 10 million yuan (US $1.51 million).
The group has organized publicity activities and lectures on laws and regulations, benefiting about 20,000 workers, and provides 24-hour online legal consulting services for workers.
Li also gives financial support to impoverished households and encourages her teammates to donate supplies to welfare institutes, poverty-stricken mountainous areas and disaster-hit regions.
Another recipient Zhang Lei, 43, a public office lawyer of the Shanghai Pudong New Area Federation of Trade Unions, has succeeded in dealing with several labor disputes with a wide range of people involved, and guided workers to seek more rational, effective and legal ways to protect their rights.
Zhang devotes herself to the development of legal services for local trade unions, and has taken part in launching a four-level legal-aid service network, from district to enterprise, forming a working model of "legal aid + employment assistance + care for the impoverished people."
The award of the National Outstanding Lawyers for Protection of Workers' Rights and Interests was launched in 2006, and it's been held every two years since then. To date, a total of 69 outstanding lawyers have been commended.
(Source: China Women's News and Ministry of Justice/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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