Why is Amal Clooney at EY Entrepreneur of the Year?

Harriet Green
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Lawyer Amal Clooney is working on bringing education to Syrian refugee children (Source: Getty)

Amal Clooney says she and her husband, George Clooney, are looking for businesses to help them launch their first projects within a foundation that will help fight human rights abuses.

Speaking at EY's World Entrepreneur of the Year in Monaco this morning, the international human rights lawyer made an appeal: "I actually have a couple of requests. My husband and I are setting up a foundation at the moment and for two of the first projects... I would like to be partnering with the private sector."

In conversation with EY chair and chief executive Mark Weinberger, Clooney said she would be grateful to hear from businesses that can help bring schooling to Syrian refugee children.

"There are 2m Syrian refugee children who are not in school... we cannot just abandon this generation. Technology has evolved; there's a lot that we can do with tablets and many organisations that have used the idea of school in a box.

"That means you can bring the education to the child in instances where the child can't get to school. So that'll mean partnering with technology companies and the private sector. If there is an offer of assistance, we will take it."

Another project the pair are working on, in conjunction with the UN, is training and dispatching a team of trial observers to bring further accountability to courtrooms globally.

"One thing I've noticed in doing my work is that oppressive regimes are increasingly using the courts to silence opposition."

Clooney added, "the way the private sector can help is that, for instance, we could be designing a software programme that allows these observers to input information in a more uniform manner, so that we can ultimately compare one trial to another and eventually get something like a justice index, where you can compare one court to another. And [that would mean] governments could no longer hide behind the courts to the extent that they do at the moment."