The International Legal Foundation
New York

Advocacy Working Group

TAP Storytelling

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Storytelling: See ILF's TAP Network Conversation on the TAP Blog Platform ( or at This conversation features the inputs from ILF's Executive Director and Afghanistan Country Director of the International Legal Foundation, Jennifer Smith and Mohammad Nabi Waqar.

  • Contact
  • Work & Expertise
  • Current Commitment
  • Past Commitment
  • Resource

Basic Information

Organization Name:
The International Legal Foundation
Organization Regions:
  • Asia/Pacific
  • Middle East
  • Global
  • Organization Country Location:
    United States
  • Organization City/Locality:
    New York
Operating Languages:
  • English
  • Arabic
Organization mission and work description:

Established in 2001, the ILF is a leading global advocate for the right to counsel. Our mission is to make justice a reality for poor people by fighting to guarantee high-quality legal representation for everyone arrested or detained. Around the world, we provide criminal defense services and build sustainable, effective legal aid institutions. Headquartered in New York, the ILF has current programs in Afghanistan, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Palestine, and Tunisia. We work with ministries of justice, bar associations, lawyers, prosecutors, and police to expand access to justice for vulnerable people. Globally, we advocate for legal aid as a human right and provide expert technical assistance.

Organization's Contacts

  • Primary Contact Name:
    Leah Conklin
  • Primary Contact Title:
    Advocacy & Communications Director
Additional Contacts Names:
  • Additional representative #1:
    Ben Polk
  • Additional representative #2:
  • Additional representative #3:
  • Additional representative #4:


Learn about TAP Members & Partners


Organization's Work & Expertise

Organization's SGD16 Expertise:
  • 16.3 - Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
  • 16.b - Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development
Organization's Areas of Expertise:
  • Global/UN Engagement & Advocacy
  • Policy Analysis & Advocacy
  • SDG Data and Indicators
  • HLPF and UN Development System Reform
  • Gender Equality
  • Children & Youth
  • Capacity building/CSO training & education

Current Commitment to SDG16+

Summary of commitment:

The ILF is committed to strengthening the International Legal Aid Network (ILAN) in the year ahead, in order to promote knowledge exchange and collaboration among legal aid providers around the world.

Organization's priorities and work in relation to commitment:

The ILF will continue to build momentum for ILAN by convening partners on the network's steering committee, organizing high-level events to attract resources and support, and working with partners to launch an online platform for legal aid providers (lawyers, paralegals, etc.) to share resources and experiences from around the world. In 2022, we anticipate working closely with ILAN to coordinate the 5th International Conference on Access to Legal Aid in criminal Justice Systems, a biennial gathering for justice stakeholders to share best practices and strategies for addressing common challenges..

Organization's work related to TAP network's SGD16+ work & accountability for 2030 Agenda:

Considering the huge gap in access to justice around the world, legal aid plays a vital role in restoring equity in criminal justice systems and countering systemic discrimination. The ILF's work as an advocate and legal aid service provider for poor and marginalized people in contact with the law helps expand access to justice. Our work relates to SDG16+ by reducing pretrial detention and strengthening criminal justice institutions by ensuring fair trial rights and promoting transparency and accountability in legal aid service provision.

Plan on engaging in TAP's work as a Partner:
  • Substantive contribution to any TAP Network resources or advocacy materials
  • Global engagement via the UN and other opportunities
  • TAP Network joint global advocacy


Voices of SDG 16+: Stories of Global Action

Reports on Organization's Past Commitments

The ILF has made progress on our commitment to implementing SDG16 by expanding access to quality legal aid in criminal justice systems around the world and holding governments to account for protecting the right to legal aid services through our advocacy and defense work. One specific commitment we made on SDG16+ is to strengthen rule of law in Afghanistan by partnering with the Ministry of Justice to develop a comprehensive legal aid system that is accessible, effective, sustainable, and credible across Afghanistan. Progress this year has included providing technical assistance for Afghanistan's Legal Aid High Commission and Secretariat, which has involved organizing workshops on management and legal aid quality assurance. We also helped ensure that civil society members are represented on the Legal Aid High Commission itself to improve transparency and accountability.