The mission of Human Rights Brigades is to empower rural communities in Panama to overcome the obstacles that often impede the fundamental human right of access to justice through legal counsel and educational workshops. Human Rights Brigades volunteers have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience shadowing Panamanian lawyers to provide pro-bono legal consulting to rural communities. Volunteers will shadow and assist lawyers as they take on cases with individual families and provide legal consulting to community members.

Human Rights Brigades primarily works with rural communities that are under resourced and largely unaware of their own legal rights. Additionally, volunteers provide legal capacity building workshops on various legal concepts to empower communities through education and action. Between brigades, Global Brigades’ in-country staff works to secure legal outcomes and provide follow-up to the families and community groups.

Student volunteers do not need prior knowledge in Panamanian legal frameworks, as they will be shadowing Panamanian lawyers who will be helping to educate students on Panamanian laws and guiding them through the process of case intakes, referrals, and relevant legal workshops with community members.