Gina Snyman

Head of the Detention Monitoring Unit, Lawyers for Human Rights

Gina Snyman's work is unique on the African continent. An attorney, Snyman heads the detention monitoring unit of Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR). "[The unit] is the only one of its kind, in that it offers assistance to people in immigration detention, not people who are awaiting trial or sentencing,� she says. "Immigration detention is very specific because these people are detained just because they are foreign. This shouldn't be a punishment, as the issue is purely administrative.� Snyman, who joined LHR in 2008, says there is a great deal of abuse in South Africa of migrant workers and asylum seekers, despite the protection afforded them by the law. On behalf of LHR Snyman has brought to court many precedent-setting matters, obtaining judgments restricting detention without a warrant and detention for more than 120 days. She has an LLB from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and an LLM in human rights and democratisation in Africa from the University of Pretoria and has worked with the Legal Aid Board and Civicus World Alliance for Citizen Participation. � Vuvu Vena

Lunch spot: Ant Cafe, Melville, Johannesburg