Fiona Sampson of Toronto, executive director of the Equality Effect, is the 2014 recipient of the Distinction in International Affairs Award, given by the New York State Bar Association’s International Section.
The award recognizes those who have made a major contribution to international peace, understanding and democracy. Sampson received her award on January 29 at the State Bar Association’s Annual Meeting in Manhattan.
Sampson has used international human rights law to help women and children across the world, notably in sub-Saharan Africa. Last May, she and her organization scored a major victory for women in Kenya when a judge ruled that the government failed to protect them from sexual violence.
“Fiona Sampson has done groundbreaking work to help women and children internationally,” said Glenn Fox of New York City (Baker McKenzie), chair of the International Section. “Her accomplishments have made for a safer world and inspired other women and children to fight for justice. We are delighted to recognize her achievements.”
Sampson originally conceived the Equality Effect in 2005, in collaboration with friends and colleagues from Africa at the Osgoode Hall Law School graduate program. She previously was a staff lawyer and director of litigation at the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF).
She has appeared as counsel before the Supreme Court of Canada on many occasions representing women’s non-governmental organizations in different equality rights cases. She has published numerous articles on women’s equality rights. She earned her undergraduate and law degrees from Queen’s University in Kingston, her master’s degree from Trent University in Peterborough and earned her Ph.D. in women’s equality law from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, in Toronto.
The 75,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in 1876.
-30-Contact: Brandon Vogel