Mar 08, Washington, DC: Sri Lankan lawyer and former chairperson of National Child Protection Authority (NCPA), Ms. Marini de Livera was honored with the U.S. State Department's 2019 International Women of Courage Award by the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and First Lady Melania Trump at a ceremony in Washington.
The US State Department honored Ms. Livera for her dedication and pro bono legal work on behalf of women and child victims of crime, defense of children in orphanages, and innovative use of visual arts and street theater to promote legal literacy.
Marini de Livera is the Founder and Chairperson of Sisters at Law, where she serves as a pro bono lawyer for women and child victims of crime and promotes alternative care for children trapped in orphanages. She uses the visual arts and drama to create legal literacy among the public. She has her own street theater group that travels around the country performing plays related to human rights issues.
Now in its 13th year, the Secretary of State's IWOC Award recognizes ten women around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality, and women's empowerment, often at great personal risk and sacrifice.
The other recipients of the award are: Razia Sultana of Bangladesh, Naw K'nyaw Paw of Burma, Moumina Houssein Darar of Djibouti, Mama Maggie of Egypt, Colonel Khalida Khalaf Hanna al-Twal of Jordan, Sister Orla Treacy of Ireland, Olivera Lakic of Montenegro, Flor de Maria Vega Zapata of Peru, and Anna Aloys Henga of Tanzania.