Legal Empowerment Network Sessions at the 10th Asia Pro Bono Virtual Conference (APBVC) & Access to Justice Exchange (A2JX) | 2021

Legal Empowerment Network Sessions at the 10th Asia Pro Bono Virtual Conference (APBVC) & Access to Justice Exchange (A2JX) | 2021

With the 10th Asia Pro Bono Virtual Conference and Access to Justice Exchange concluded recently, we are delighted to share with everyone the sessions that were organized by our network members in the region, led by the network’s regional anchor for Southeast Asia, the Alternative Law Groups (ALG), and members of the regional core group.

On September 23rd, 2021, Alternative Law Groups (ALG), Ateneo Human Rights Center, Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation, The International Rescue Committee (IRC), Development of Human Resources in Rural Area (DHRRA), Kituo Cha Sheria and Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) have come together in a virtual session to share their experiences on Adapting to Change: Legal Empowerment Practice in Southeast Asia Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic.

The session highlighted the challenges that affect the continuation of legal empowerment work and strategies particularly during the Covid–19 Pandemic and how the work has been affected by pandemic-related restrictions and regulations. In particular, it focused on the pandemic’s impact on community engagement and providing legal services to grassroots communities, advocacy work, and funding. The discussion showcased innovative approaches and strategies that were adopted by legal empowerment organizations to cope with the current health crisis.

Please find the video of the session linked down below:

Questions discussed by panelists:

  1. What are the major challenges in doing legal empowerment work in your country/ region?
  2. What were the adjustments/ modifications in your LE work (innovative approaches)?
  3. What are your recommendations on how to best improve LE work and access to justice in accordance with state response in dealing with the Pandemic?

On September 26th, 2021, we have come together once again with network members from Ateneo Human Rights Center, Kituo Cha Sheria, Alternative Law Groups, Community Resources Centre, Braveheart Foundation and National Law University Delhi for a conversation on Strengthening Legal Empowerment Work and Defending Civic Space. Due to the sensitive nature of the issues, the session was neither recorded nor live-streamed.

The discussion highlighted how the shrinking of space available for civil society, activists, and citizens, has affected and restricted legal empowerment work and strategies in Asia with focus on the state of the legal empowerment practice in the context of constricting civic space. We have also discussed how legal empowerment organizations can respond to the challenges of shrinking civic space and increasing human rights violations.

@sheformento @AtcharaChanOkul @AnnetteMbogoh @maaliniramalo @titir @anmau_manigbas @Yadana @sorcrc @srikrishnadevarao @marlonmanuel @Tom_Weerachat

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