Most people in Bangladesh have limited access to either the formal or the informal justice system. This lack of access has particularly adverse effects for women, children and the marginalised, who face socioeconomic and cultural discrimination as well as exclusion, and have minimal avenues to voice their problems and seek redress. BLAST seeks to reach out to this section of society, raising their awareness and understanding of available rights, remedies and services, and seeking to ensure greater responsiveness to their needs from within the justice system.
BLAST’s core activities focuses on legal aid (advice, referral, mediation, litigation and community awareness) for the poor and those who are marginalized, related research, advocacy (including public interest litigation) and communications to address discriminatory and arbitrary laws. We also undertake capacity building and training for key actors in the justice system.
Public Interest Litigation (PIL)
Alongside individual legal aid, BLAST undertakes strategic litigation, or public interest litigation, as a key part of its advocacy for law and policy reforms to ensure effective legal protection of rights.
BLAST aims to improve access to justice by building the capacity of legal service providers and other actors in the justice sector. BLAST's activities in this area include staff training; capacity building for management committee members and panel lawyers; awareness programmes for clients; capacity building on rights and collaborative events to strengthen justice delivery focused on the remedies available under particular laws or for particular groups.
Advocacy and Networking
BLAST organises a number of advocacy meetings, workshops and seminars on a range of issues to not only facilitate changes in Bangladesh’s laws, but also increase discourse around issues of justice in Bangladesh.
To ensure a just and accessible legal system in Bangladesh, it is also essential to forge and strengthen existing partnerships and strategic alliances in all our key areas of work. We work closely in formal and informal networks with other organisations and coalitions both nationally and locally, including on documentation research, investigation, advocacy and public interest litigation.
BLAST's research activities are complementary to its legal aid and public interest litigation and advocacy activities. BLAST conducted several small scale research studies on various issues, relating to its ongoing advocacy including implementation and follow up of Supreme Court judgments.
"Claudia Peschiera Fort, Communication Specialist, with the Legal Cell at the BLAST Head Office"
BLAST undertakes complementary projects in addition to its core program to expand access to justice for the poor and marginalized people in Bangladesh. Our projects cover a wide spectrum of issue areas ranging from women’s health rights to actions to child protection.
Access to Justice for Realization of Human Rights and Advocacy for Empowerment of the Poor (A2J)
Access to Justice for the Marginalized through Community Legal Services (CLS)
Access to Legal Empowerment and Outreach (ALO)
Actions for Child Protection — Violence against children (ACP)
Effective Participation for Transparent and Accountable Local Governance (EPT)
Improvement of the Real Situation of Overcrowding in Prisons in Bangladesh (IRSOP)
Increasing protection of women legal rights through mobile services (MLS)
Justice in Motion: Mobile Legal Clinic Services (JIM)
Legal Reform for Ending Corporal Punishment in all Settings (ECP)
Producing the CRPD Shadow Report to Bring About a Greater Engagement by the State and Key Social Actors to the Recognition of Disability Rights in Bangladesh (UNCRPD National Coalition Project)
Recognising Consent and Choice (RCC)
Strengthening Garment Workers’ Access to Legal Aid in Bangladesh (SGW)
Women’s Health Rights and Choices (SHOKHI)
Activating Village Courts in Bangladesh (AVC)
Community Awareness for Access to Justice (CAA)
Civil Society and Police Reform in South Asia (CHR)
Growing up Safe and Healthy: SAFE (SAF)
Justice and Safety for Workers after Rana Plaza (JSW)
Making it Work: Access to Justice for Persons in Disabilities in Bangladesh (MIW)
Monitoring and Evaluation of Legal Empowerment Interventions (MELEI)
Pre-Counseling and Completion of Claims forms under the Rana Plaza Claims' Administration (RPC)
Producing the CRPD Shadow Report to bring about a greater engagement by the state and key social actors to the recognition of disability rights in Bangladesh (CRPD)
Right to Worker and Consumer: Safety and Public Accountability in Bangladesh
Women in Justice (WIJ)