Kate Barth is Freedom Now’s Legal Director. In this capacity, she represents individual prisoners of conscience before international human rights tribunals and conducts political and public relations advocacy campaigns to press governments for the release of Freedom Now’s clients.
Freedom Now is a U.S. and UK-based non-profit organization that strategically leverages legal, political and public relations advocacy to free prisoners of conscience from illegal detention. Their legal advocacy efforts include representation before international forums, such as regional commissions and bodies of the United Nations. Freedom Now uses political advocacy to mobilize support for clients from government bodies, as well as public relations advocacy, which ranges from hosting vigils to publishing op-eds in newspapers worldwide. The organization works with the family members of clients, domestic lawyers and other organizations to amplify their impact and to secure the release of clients as quickly as possible.
Prior to joining Freedom Now, Barth was a legal officer with Lawyers Collective, an India-based NGO focused on the right to health. At Lawyers Collective she managed the Global Health and Human Rights Database (a free online database of domestic, regional and international law from around the world relating to health and human rights) and assisted the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health in handling his international law portfolio. Her research focused on the role of due process in international law and the intersection between development financing and international organizations.
Before joining Lawyers Collective, Barth was a Project Finance associate with Allen & Overy LLP. Barth has also worked with the Gender Research and Advocacy Department of the Legal Assistance Centre-Namibia, where she studied the effects of the child and spousal support laws and published a report on the underage drinking laws.
Barth received her JD magna cum laude and with Order of the Coif from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and served as a Senior Editor on the University of Pennsylvania Law Review and a Board Member of the International Law Organization. Before coming to law school, Barth earned her Master’s degree in Development Studies at the London School of Economics, writing her dissertation on smart ways to introduce gender-balanced HIV/AIDS prevention programs. Barth also holds a B.A. magna cum laude from Brown University where she graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors.
Barth has been invited as a speaker and participant to numerous academic, civil society, and international organization conferences, on topics such as justice and accountability, UN human rights treaty bodies; business and human rights; the right to health, and the persecution of human rights defenders in Central Asia. Barth has also presented at top US law schools, such as Columbia Law School, University of Pennsylvania Law School, NYU Law School, Georgetown Law School, George Washington Law School, etc. On behalf of her clients, she has spoken at press conference, on satellite news or radio programs and regularly fields media inquiries.