From July 2019, Light House has been implementing “Promoting peace and Justice” PPJ program at Bogura and Tangail, with financial support from USAID/ Democracy International in 38 unions of 5 Upazilas of Tangail and 38 unions of 5 Upazilas of Bogura.
The goal of the acceleration action is activate and support Legal Aid Committees at the District, Upazila, and Union Parishad levels and increase the visibility, public awareness, and community acceptance of government legal aid services and use of the formal justice system to resolve disputes and protect legal rights.
Objective of the actions are:
• Increasing the level of activation and coordination of the District, Upazila, and Union Parishad Legal Aid Committees within the target District.
• Increasing awareness of legal rights and responsibilities among mass people and acceptance of the use of formal justice system among communities.
Light House has been implementing the project in Bogura and Tangail district of Bangladesh where access to justice is difficult for most citizens. Formal justice institutions are complex and fraught with delays, resulting in low levels of acceptance especially within rural communities. To mitigate the problem relating judiciary and of providing residue to the victims of local acts, there are some institutionalized dispute resolution mechanisms available e.g. village courts, arbitration council and litigation through government legal aid provide by DLAC, UZLAC and UPLAC etc. But these are not mostly and properly functioning. On the other hand people not aware enough to claim their legal rights.
The project has identified specific strategies to address core problems. It has taken action on strengthen and make functional of existing legal aid committees under NLASO act 2000’s option such as -DLAC, UZLAC, UPLAC, as per gazette of same Light House is engaged in persuade for activation of LACs through forming, provide training and orientation, provide logistic support, monitoring meeting of LACs. Other strategies of the project are create awareness, disseminate information of government service, sensitization and advocacy, coordination among LACs and other stakeholders, social mobilization etc to ensure continue support poor and women friendly legal services for victim of human trafficking and unsafe migration, victim of acid throwing, poor and disabled persons of respective areas by case referral to formal court/DLAC through UPLAC and UZLAC.
While implementing PPJ activities, Light House will take measure to build capacity of LACs and community which ultimately strengthen the foundation for inclusive and accountable justice and equipping local beneficiaries to continue and follow up this work. Networking and interactive relation among Village Court, Arbitration Council, local administration, police department, ULAC, UPLAC, DLAC and various stakeholders will remain functional to support the victims of violence by rendering alternative disputes, mediation, arbitration to ensure justice and legal service.
Staffs are engaged to implement the project headed by a project coordinator. A senior management team (central management committee) consists of all departmental heads, project heads and senior officers headed by chief executive are working to oversee Program implementation.
It is anticipated that by implement the project
1. Legal awareness improved among the people of Tangail and Bogura district and effective use of legal aid services by the local litigant and stakeholders.
2. Justice provider act as pro-people, Justice delivery system will be expedited and disputes resolved speedily thus ensured increased access to justice for poor and vulnerable people.
3. All Legal Aid Committee (DLAC and UZLAC) are functioning properly and coordinated continue the legal aid support for the victims irrespective of caste, religion, power, color, wealth and minority groups by the end of the project
4. Increased visibility of Government legal aid services and awareness on legal literacy and have available information about the justice provision among the target people