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Access to Justice in Pakistan:

“Access to Justice for Vulnerable Populations in Pakistan”

Access to Justice is a three year initiative being implemented by Insaf Network Pakistan with the support of 15 implementing partners, to improve access to justice and human rights through the provision of efficient, cost effective legal assistance and protection for vulnerable populations. The project has been designed to target 13 districts, across all four provinces, where significant rights violations against women and minorities have been reported. These districts are Lahore, Faisalabad, Nankanasahib, Muzaffargarh, Khanewal, Sialkot, Swat, Karachi, Jacobabad, Multan, Sahiwal, Hyderabad and Quetta, which also represent urban, rural, and ethnically and religiously diverse populations.

The goal of the project is to improve access to justice and human rights through the provision of efficient, cost effective legal assistance and protection for vulnerable populations.  The project is working towards the achievement of the following three objectives:

  1. To develop and implement a multi-pronged public awareness campaign that increases citizens’ knowledge of the laws, which protect their fundamental freedoms;
  2. To strengthen the capacity of existing legal aid centers that provide legal services to those whose rights have been violated; and
  3. To advocate for protection measures and free and fair trial in cases pertaining to religious freedoms

For the achievement of the first two objectives, the project is working in 13 districts, across all four provinces. These include Lahore, Faisalabad, Nankanasahib, Sahiwal, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Khanewal, Sialkot, Swat, Karachi, Hyderabad, Jacobabad, and Quetta.  In each of these districts, the project through the legal aid centers is providing free-of-cost legal aid and counseling services to members of vulnerable communities, particularly ethnic and religious minorities, survivors of gender based violence and persons with disabilities. Advocacy efforts are focused in all four provincial capitals and at the federal level.

The key results of the project include:

  1. Improved knowledge of and positive behaviors among members of the local community, police, legal aid workers and local government bodies towards fundamental rights of vulnerable populations
  2. Improved demand for legal aid services among vulnerable groups
  3. Strengthened capacity of legal aid centers to provide broad range of legal services to vulnerable populations
  4. Increased demand for protection measures and free and fair trial among civil society, duty bearers and parliamentarians in religious freedoms cases

 

Program Activities

INP is responsible for:

1.      Assessment of Legal Aid Centers in 10 districts by conducting independent assessments of human resource (including training needs assessment) and organizational capacity required for the 10 legal aid centers to function as technically and operationally resilient centers and to indicate the existing knowledge and practices of legal aid center staff. INP will also draw on the KAP survey to understand the barriers to vulnerable populations in seeking legal counsel.

2.       Design and Conduct of Legal Aid Training of 5 lawyers per district on legal issues and case management in order to develop the capacity of the lawyers in each district to undertake and manage cases related to religious and ethnic minority rights, Gender based Violence (GBV) and disability.

3.        Design and Conduct of Management Training and Follow-ups/Sessions for Legal Aid Center Staff in order to improve their performance. Training will be provided in human rights frameworks, counseling, referrals, managing cases related to minority rights, GBV and disability. INP will also develop staff skills in leadership, strategic thinking, performance management, supervision, networking, advocacy and establishment of linkages with wider human rights networks.

4.     Development of Standard Operating Procedures to improve the overall administration of the Legal Aid Centers.

5.         Development of Project Website and Online Database which will include all information on centers, their progress and information on clients visiting/calling the centers, referrals and cases registered.

6.        Joint Networking Meeting to promote and support developing partnerships and expanding networks among Legal Aid Centers, NGOs, and government line ministries to improve the environment in which legal aid centers operate.

 

Project Area:

INP is strengthening capacity of Legal Aid Centers in Lahore, Faisalabad, Nankanasahib, Muzaffargarh, Khanewal, Sialkot, Swat, Karachi, Hyderabad, Jacobabad, Multan, Sahiwal, and Quetta.

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/accesstojustice.pk

Website: www.accesstojustice.pk

 

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