The founder of IBJ, and my boss, Karen Tse, recently gave a talk at the TED conference in Zurich. TED is a nonprofit dedicated to “ideas worth spreading.” TEDTalks cover science, arts, politics, global issues, architecture, music and more. Speakers come from a wide variety of communities and disciplines each with an important, vital idea to share.
TED’s mission statement begins:
We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.
A former public defender, Karen first developed her interest in the cross section of criminal law and human rights as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow in 1986, after observing Southeast Asian refugees detained in a local prison without trial. In 1994, she moved to Cambodia to train the country’s first core group of public defenders and subsequently served as a United Nations Judicial Mentor.
Under the auspices of the U.N., she trained judges and prosecutors, and established the first arraignment court in Cambodia.After witnessing thousands of prisoners of all ages being held without trials, usually after being tortured into making ‘confessions’, Karen founded International Bridges to Justice in 2000 to promote systemic global change in the administration of criminal justice. In the initial stages, she negotiated groundbreaking measures in judicial reform with the Chinese, Vietnamese and Cambodian governments.
Under her leadership, IBJ has expanded its programming to sixteen countries, including Rwanda, Burundi and India. (Bio from IBJ’s site)
I am so proud of the work she does. It has been an incredible experience to work closely with her and IBJ towards ending torture by strengthening legal infrastructures around the world.