Winner 2019

Tong Lihua

The Publico Award recognizes legal professionals with an extraordinary, passionate and long-standing commitment to service for the public good. PILnet bestowed the 2019 award to Tong Lihua, a PILnet Fellow alumnus, for his tireless work throughout his career to provide pro bono legal services to vulnerable communities in China, particularly children. He established the Beijing Children’s Legal Aid and Research Centre in 1999, which was the first non-governmental organization dedicated to providing pro bono legal services to children in China. Under his leadership, and in conjunction with the All-China Lawyers Association, Zhicheng Public Interest Law, an organization that was founded to support children’s rights, set up 29 Child Protection Committees at the provincial level and a further 90 in metropolitan areas. Furthermore, it has developed a network of over 9,000 pro bono lawyers working on child protection.