Mario Joseph with Salem Award for Human Rights & Social Justice

On March 23, 2014, Mario Joseph and Brian Concannon, the two Haitian lawyers who have led unfortunate poor Haitians without any discrimination for last two decades, from military strongmen to the console of the United Nations, were honored "22nd Annual Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice". In the award giving ceremony, Dr. Paul Farmer, one of the founding members of Partners in Health, a leading health organization working in Haiti, has termed them as the most effective, courageous and persistent human rights activists he saw in his last 30 working years in Haiti. The mission of Salem Award is to honor the heroic works of those who speak and act to alleviate discrimination and social injustice, repair damage with truth, inspire and achieve justice for the victims of social injustice.


Mario Joseph and Brian Concannon are the founders of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) and the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. They are two sister organizations that work extensively at the grass roots level in a non-violent way for the consolidation of human rights, justice and constitutional democracy. Joseph is the managing attorney of BAI, hails from Haiti, is known as the "Haiti's most prominent human rights lawyer."---- He had confirmed the convictions of some of the deadliest military leaders during a six-week trial. Concannon, a Boston native, sued the United Nations for billions of dollars on behalf of the families of thousands of cholera victims who became ill or died in a 2010-11 cholera outbreak caused by the negligence of the U.N. peacekeeping force. Joseph and Concannon are lawyers by vocation but humanitarians and activists by nature. They have courageously defended and successfully fought to restore human rights in the lives of poor Haitians. They have stood up to unjust economics, dictatorships, death squad leaders and even when it was necessary, challenged the United Nations and U.S. policy. After working 8 years in Haiti with the BAI and U.N, Brian Concannon returned to U.S in 2004 and established the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) in Boston. It supports BAI and assists to execute U.S policy towards Haiti.

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