Adeola Austin Oyinlade, has been declared winner of the International Bar Association (IBA) Award for Outstanding Contribution by a Legal Practitioner to Human Rights for 2018.
The award was presented to him at the 2018 IBA Conference in Rome, Italy ahead of other finalists from many countries across the world for his courageous stand for human rights and his pro-bono legal services to the poor in Nigeria.
Each year, the International Bar Association (IBA) presents the award to an outstanding lawyer in the world of human rights law. The IBA has a membership of over more than 80,000 individual lawyers and 195 bar associations and law societies spanning all continents across the world.
As a lawyer advocating equitable, just and fair society over the years, Mr. Adeola Austin Oyinlade has taken his human rights empowerment further by simplifying human rights laws and safeguards to the understanding of ordinary people on the street in English and major local languages including Pidgin, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba spoken by over 100 million people in Nigeria.
The IBA award winner pioneered human rights empowerment via mobile technology when he created Know Your Rights Nigeria app for millions of android, iPhone and web users in Nigeria.
The Know Your Rights Nigeria app and the web version of his work simplify all human rights laws in force with safeguards in English, Pidgin, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba languages alongside platforms where users engage him and his team of over 50 lawyers daily for free legal support on human rights issues.
The lawyer and UN Peace Ambassador also created platforms on the app where users report abuse anonymously, get safeguards on what steps to take in the face of assaults, and get connected to security forces for help, thereby pioneering the first ever human rights empowerment innovation with mere push of buttons in the palms in English and major local languages in the era of mobile technological advancement.
Since the human rights lawyer unveiled the app and web version for human rights empowerment, it has proved very effective for its free access, speedy dissemination of human rights information and free legal advisory with over 200 thousand people as beneficiaries. The rights empowerment app in major local languages has made a real difference for the situation of the defenseless and ordinary people on the street in Nigeria.
At the continental level, through advocacy, the Nigerian human rights and international law expert has also proffered solutions to human rights issues in Africa including the South Sudan political crisis, the Central African Republic crisis, the Congo Democratic Republic armed conflict, and the Libyan peace talks among others with relative impact.
The IBA Human Rights Award honoree, while giving his remark, thanked the Global lawyers’ body for the award and said such recognition is a charge to do more.
According to Mr. Adeola Austin Oyinlade:
“Recognition of this magnitude brings more responsibilities. Since the task that follows such responsibilities will give birth to deliverables and outcomes that will shape the world for better, I am happier and fully ready to carry on.
“As it appears to me, we are not short of preachers against human rights abuse or short of preaching against serial violations of human rights. We are only short of compliance with the rule of law. As the world is commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this year, we all have more work to do to make the world fair and just.
The world is looking up to us (lawyers) to consistently use our legal expertise as a tool of social engineering and problem-solving. I believe and hope that we shall continue to apply our knowledge of law as a glue that holds the society together.”
Mr. Adeola Austin Oyinlade is the first Nigerian lawyer to have won the IBA award for outstanding contribution by a legal practitioner to human rights and the second from the continent of Africa after George Bizos from South Africa who was recommended by many personalities including Nelson Mandela.