Promoting Peace And Justice – Cox’s Bazar

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Name of the Project: Promoting Peace and Justice – Cox’s Bazar (PPJ-Cox’s Bazar)

Local Partner:  Young Power in Social Action (YPSA)

Funded By: USAID

Implemented By: Democracy International Inc.

Working Area: Cox’s Bazar District (8 Upazilas, 3 Chowki Court & 71 Unions)

Duration of the Project: July 2019 to June 2021

Background justification of project:

The access to justice in Bangladesh has focused on the inadequacy of judicial, lawyer, paralegal activist, case backlogs, ignorance of community and lack of coordination in legal service providing institutions. Though all citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law. Every year countless of people are being underprivileged of their constitutional rights to access to justice. Women and Social excluded group has more limited in access to justice. Women and child friendly prosecution system is fully absent in marginalized areas. Women are victimized second times while they seek justice against the crime. In many cases existing litigation system are not consider the traditional customs, norms and culture on excluded groups as Dalit, fisher folk and indigenous group.

In Cox’s Bazar the existing Chowki Courts are also facing severe problems, lack of logistical support, judges or litigants and not functioning smoothly. The trafficked survivors are not get shelter and victims migrants are not get access to justice. YPSA observed that there is hundred miles there is no female lawyer, judicial and shelter home for survivors in Cox’s Bazar. Alike, marginalized people have lack of adequate knowledge regarding their rights and they are not informed the available prosecution system of their community. This situation is worst in hard to reach areas mainly the hilly and island areas of Cox’s Bazar. These conditions make far from the access to justice of women and social excluded group. This project has attempted to functional the existing legal aid services institutions, strengthen the case management capacity of judicial and empowering marginalized community through legal knowledge, information, advice and support at ground which might be improved access to justice of marginalized community.

Project Goal:

To create access to justice for the hard to reach and marginalized people through empowering the community and quality legal service in the all Unions, Upazila’s of Cox’s Bazar district.

Project Objectives:

  • To increase the level of activation and coordination of legal services providing institutions and necessary reforming on delivery quick access to justice to remedies in Cox’s Bazar;
  • To increase community’s awareness and knowledge on available legal services, and pathways for getting access to justice in Cox’s Bazar

Results, outputs and outcomes and impact:

The project will strengthen the capacity of existing legal aid services institutions, reform the legal aid framework, increase the legal literacy and knowledge of marginalized community, increase the coordination among legal aid committees (LACs), provide legal support to vulnerable groups as GBV survivors, victim of trafficking, Migrants victims, Disable persons, Ethnic Groups and others risky peoples in Cox’s Bazar district.

Project Activities:

Support to DLAC, UZLAC, and UPLAC:

A Comprehensive effort is needed for activation and coordination of legal aid services providers to improved access to justice for disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. YPSA will works together with DLAC, UZLAC, CLAC and UPLAC, the government entity under Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and various local level judiciary organization. YPSA will works for enhancing their capacity through orientation, and facilitation on meeting for functional.

Quarterly Stakeholder meeting with DLAC and Relevant Stakeholders:

Legal service is a consolidated issue where linkage with different consistency of government at locally and nationally. Under this activity, YPSA will be developed a linkage between legal service providers and targeted groups such as UP members, ULAC members, UZLAC members, DLAC (District Legal Aid Committee) members, Panel lawyers, Nari-O-Shishu Nirjaton Protirodh Committee (NNPC), Counter Trafficking Committee (CTC) and other related legal service providers. This linkage support is ensuring legal rights and services to target people at the community. This meeting will be organized in quarterly. This meeting will create a common understanding on knowledge among the LACs. The deliverables of these meeting are attendances, reports, follow up actions and photos.

Orientation of members of UZLAC, UPLAC and CLAC;

The activation of LACs in Cox’s Bazar district is principal objectives of this project. To meet the objective project will arrange an orientation of UPLAC, UZLAC and CLAC. Before that project may reform the committee in necessary basis.

Facilitation and monitoring of bi-monthly meetings of UZLAC and UPLAC;

At bi-monthly reflection meeting UZLAC and UPLAC will assemble or get together for analyzing the bi-monthly achievement and identifying on further action. Project will facilitate on conduct this bi-monthly meeting.

Facilitation of half-yearly coordination meeting between DLAC-UZLAC-UPLAC;

In regards of legal aid services DLAC-UZLAC-UPLAC is the main responsible institutions. The coordination among these committees is very important and vital. Government has mechanism to foster coordination among them but in many cases which is not practices. In that context, YPSA will be facilitated on conduct this coordination meetings in half yearly with the presences of selective members of LACs.

Sensitize for LACs, DLAC, UZLAC and CLAC, including issue areas such as TIP, GBV, and VE;

To improve the knowledge, capabilities, leadership of LACs, DLAC, UZLAC and CLAC, YPSA will arrange a sensitization meeting. The sensitization session will be day long. The content of this sensitization will be prioritized the rights of Trafficked in Persons, GBV survivors, Migrants victims and victims of violent extremism. There are different committees in community on following concern as Counter Trafficking Committee (CTC), Nari-O-ShishuNirjatonProtirodh Committee (NNPC) and Village court. YPSA will make a coordination among the committees. The sensitization will be conducted at two levels as with DLAC and UZLAC.

Development and printing of information and awareness materials (leaflets,info card posters etc.);

Awareness materials are an important component of increasing legal rights and literacy of community. YPSA will be developed different awareness materials as leaflets, posters and info card on legal literacy, rights and will be taken approved form Democracy International, PPJ Project team. YPSA will be developed 15,000 posters, 15,000 leaflets and 15,000 info cards.  The printed materials will be disseminated to community and different public spaces also project interventions as courtyard meeting, sensitization sessions and miking campaigns. These materials will be created awareness on legal rights and responsibilities in Cox’s Bazar. The LACs will be informed of their responsibilities and community informed of their rights and duties. The LACs will be functional and community will be responsiveness.

Installation of billboards and signboards at the Upazila and Union Parishad levels;

The purpose of billboards and information boards is to create awareness on legal literacy, rights and responsibilities. They will be effectively used to broadcast the services of LACs. YPSA will be installed 08 billboards at the front Upazila Administration, 71 information boards at Union Parishad and 03 Billboards at the front of CLAC. Placing it on these places will guarantee that community people will see the services of LACs and their rights with duties. In addition to it is cost effective and have location flexibility. This approach also facilitates the sustainability of project activity.

Miking campaigns and other mobile information mechanisms;

Miking campaigns is a most popular and wide accessible approach on reaching the information of LACs services and creating awareness of community. Miking is that an activity where we will be shared the basic awareness on legal rights, issues, remedies, referrals, mediation, formal and informal court systems through public speech at enclosed marketplace or street. YPSA will be arranged 50 miking to cover the 08 Upazila’s.

Facilitation and monitoring of monthly meeting of CLAC at Chowki Courts

In Cox’s Bazar there are three Chowki Courts (Chakaria, Moheshkhali and Kutubdia).  YPSA will facilitate on arranging the monthly meeting of CLAC at life time of project. This meeting will facilitates on functional the Chowki Courts.

Local cultural programs (culture as popular in one’s region) including street-drama, folk song, etc.

Local cultural programs are the best effective ways to gain awareness on against of violence against woman also others legal rights and issues. YPSA will be organized cultural program as folk song at enclosed marketplace, street and common yard where people meet. Cultural team will be performed the folk song with awareness speech on bad effect of early marriage and violence against women also other common legal issues. YPSA has planned to organize 40 cultural programs (folk song) at community. And believes that the cultural campaigns will play a critical part in building awareness of community.

Facilitate courtyard meetings to improve understanding of legal rights and responsibilities;

Courtyard meeting is a platform, where women’s can fairly share her legal rights and also creates the pathway to assure or establish her rights after informing legal rights and accords. Courtyard meeting is that an event where YPSA will be shared the law’s relating to woman and children also aware on violence against women. YPSA has planned to organize 639 courtyard meeting at 71 unions of Cox’s Bazar. YPSA has planned to organize courtyard meeting in all wards of Cox’s Bazar District. YPSA will involve LACs on arranging the Courtyard session.

Public hearing events (Host public questions and answer sessions with Legal Aid Officers);

Public hearings are typically organized as a way to gather public opinions and concerns on legal aid services. This hearing will be conducted with the presence of legal aid officers. There are about 16 public hearings will be organized at the life time of project. At public hearing the community will share the major drawbacks on access to justice and will provide the necessary suggestions of access to justice.

Facilitate debates on legal rights and responsibilities engaging secondary school students/college students;

Debates on legal rights and responsibilities at secondary Scholl/College will be organized at 08 Upazila’s of Cox’s Bazar. The number of debate will be fifteen. The debates will engaged Students, Teacher, School Management Committee (SMC), and Guardians. This debates contents will stop the corporal punishment, stop sexual harassment, violent and extremism, legal accessibility and responsibility of LACs. A video presentation on legal rights and remedies will be demonstrated after the debate. By this event, the students will make a clear understanding and knowledge of Sexual Harassment, Corporal Punishment and common legal rights base education and its penalization.

National Legal Aid Day (April 28) activities at District &Upazila level involving Union Parishad stakeholders;

Day observation is designed to raise awareness and educate the community on human rights at local and global aspects. The project has proposed to celebrate National Legal Aid Day on entire the project areas as District, Upazila with involving Union Parishad. YPSA will be celebrated the National Legal Aid Day (NLAD) with joint collaboration of DLAC, Cox’s Bazar. In addition to, YPSA will be celebrated NLAD with eight upazila’s administration. We assumed that in two year we have to celebrate two times of NLAD of respective premises. This day project will be organized rally and discussion meeting with the importance the theme of these Day. Community people, stakeholders and Government officials will be participated and strengthen the network with LACs and community.

Project Human Resources:

  • Program Manager(1), YPSA
  • Field Officer (8), YPSA
  • Finance and Accounts Officer (1), YPSA