Human rights lawyer Agbor Balla Bags American Bar Association Award.



Renowned Cameroon based Human Rights Lawyer Felix Agbor Balla has been recognized by the American Bar Association for his “exceptional achievements in defending human rights”

 In notification Press Release of 2 July 2024 the association said it was” proud to announce that Felix Agbor Nkongho, founder and president of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa in Cameroon, will receive the American Bar Association’s 2024 International Human Rights Award”


The award according to the release,recognizes “exceptional achievements by an individual or organization as a champion and/or defender of human rights outside the United States, consistent with international human rights law.”

It notes that the nominee’s contributions should demonstrate leadership, dedication, courage and perseverance in advancing human rights.


The award is presented annually on behalf of six ABA entities (the Center for Global Programs, the Center for Human Rights, the Rule of Law Initiative, the Civil Rights and Social Justice Section, the International Law Section and the Litigation Section).


“Mr. Nkongho stood out, among an exceptionally strong field of nominees, for his courageous and principled advocacy in support of human rights and the peaceful settlement of disputes,” said Mark Agrast, chair of the ABA’s International Human Rights Award selection committee.

Early in his human rights law career, he worked as a researcher at the Centre for International Law in Belgium; as a legal officer at the Sierra Leone International Criminal Court; as a human rights officer at the U.N. offices in Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo; and as a lecturer on human rights law at the Pan African Institute for Development – West Africa and at the University of Buea, the release stated.

In 2005, Nkongho founded the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa (CHRDA), an organization that focuses on human rights research and the protection and promotion of democracy throughout Africa. Under his leadership, CHRDA has monitored and documented human rights violations and abuses in Cameroon, especially those related to the Anglophone conflict in the North West and South West, and the Boko Haram Insurgency in the Far North regions of Cameroon. CHRDA has trained thousands of young people, women leaders, community leaders and journalists in human rights monitoring, documentation and reporting. The organization also led strategic litigation training sessions to promote accountability for human rights violations.


In January 2017, Nkongho led a peaceful protest in response to the detention of students who had demonstrated for human rights in the Anglophone regions. In response, Nkongho was arrested and arbitrarily detained between January and August 2017. He has continued his work despite the grave risks that he faces and continues to advocate for solutions for peace and the protection of human rights both within Cameroon and across the world.

The award will be presented at a dinner honoring international guests Thursday, August 1, during the Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association in Chicago.

The 2023 award was given to the former chief justice of Pakistan, Tassaduq Hussain Jillani.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *