Access to Justice for Realisation of Human Rights & Advocacy for Empowerment of the Poor (A2J)


Project Period: 1st January 2012 - 31st December 2016

Working Area: Barisal, Bogura, Chittagong, Khulna, Mymensingh, Noakhali, Jessore, Rangpur, Potuakhali, Pabna, Tangail and Gopibag Clinic

Donors: Christian Aid, Danchuarch Aid, Danida, Diakonia, Drishtipat, Moments of Joy, Oxfamnovib


Context:

Following the Liberation War of 1971, Bangladesh adopted a Constitution articulating fundamental rights for all. Sadly, its aspirations remain unrealized. This situation is caused largely by the overarching context of poverty, severe backlogs, endemic corruption and distance hampering access to justice. They also further contribute to a systemic bias in favour of the powerful, the wealthy and vested social and political interest groups. Informal traditional justice systems, such as the village shalish, while readily accessible, subscribe to traditional value systems. These values endorse patriarchal and religious hierarchies and fail to comply with minimal human rights norms, including that of participation. Thus, the scope for the powerless to obtain remedies in both the formal and informal system is severely limited. The need for robust and independent legal services, particularly for marginalized communities, therefore remains critical. Through consolidation of a legal services programme (awareness, advice, mediation, litigation, advocacy, including quality assurance, case management, capacity development), with an enhanced focus on inclusion of marginalized, socially excluded and harder to reach communities, in particular women, BLAST seeks to contribute to providing greater access to justice to poor, marginalized and socially excluded communities in Bangladesh.


Goal:

The aim of this project is to provide remedies through increasing access to legal services to women, men and children. Particular emphasis will be given to women facing violence, family or workplace disputes and individuals from marginalized communities (adivasis, dalits, slum dwellers).


Objectives:

The project expects to reduce poverty and inequality as well as easing access to justice for socially excluded and marginalized women, men and children. It aims to achieve a considerable reduction in discrimination and violence against deprived and marginalized women, men and children. Poor women, men and children will be able to use their skills and knowledge to demand justice and as a result reducing risks of rights violations. There will also be an increased access to non discriminatory legal services for socially excluded and marginalized in an environment that promotes self respect and dignity. Significant improvement will be made in the legislative framework in order to reduce discrimination against poor and to make legal solutions readily available to them.


Activities:

Strong and comprehensive legal services will expand access to remedies and services for the marginalized and socially excluded, particularly women through:

  • Provisions of legal assistance to disadvantaged groups for claiming remedies in the formal justice system through mediation, litigation, advocacy meetings. It will reinforce its linkages with lawyers, government agencies, employers, trade unions, rights organizations and advocates through workshops/seminars, meetings and awareness training programs.
  • Evaluating new and existing laws/policies and High Court judgments in relation to how they benefit the interests of women , men and children who are socially excluded or marginalized through surveys, research and data collection .It will continue to establish linkages with relevant stakeholders affected by rights violations.
  • Public interest litigations writs will be filed and initial orders in favour of the clients will be acquired to establish rights to equality and non-discrimination, and the right to access to justice of the poor and the disadvantaged (dwellers, landless people, workers) and marginalized communites.
  • Investigate specific allegation of human rights violations
  • Capacity building through training staffs and holding coalition meetings with the media at local and national level.


Expected Result:

To significantly reduce discrimination and violence against disadvantaged and marginalized women, men and children. Those living in poverty will be able to use their knowledge and skills to demand justice and will be more aware of their rights, remedies referrals and services available to them.

 

BLAST, YMCA Development Center, 1/1 Pioneer Road, Kakrail, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh
BLAST would like to thank Sara Hossain, Jahangir Alam, Arafat Hosen Khan, Amanda Sen, Rokeya Chowdhury & Kazi Ataul-al Osman for content development
Copyright © 2010, BLAST | Web Design: Siraj / Machizo, Jahangir / BLAST