Ain Shohayota (Legal Aid) Project in Bangladesh
The Ain Shohayota (Legal Aid) Project, funded by USAID, aims to promote people-centered justice across Bangladesh through increased public participation, inclusivity, and data-driven approaches to strengthen the justice system. The project is committed to ensuring that all people are able to resolve their disputes in a fair and timely manner regardless of their ability to pay.
The Ain Shohayota Project has three main objectives:
1. Increase demand for responsive justice services:
Ain Shohayota engages directly with grassroots communities, with a special focus on traditionally marginalized and vulnerable groups and under-served populations, including women, religious minorities, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQI+ community, and aims to empower individuals by imparting knowledge of their legal rights and how to exercise them. The Project also provides training to grassroots organizations and local leaders to facilitate the dissemination of this vital information among the communities they serve.
2. Promote pro-bono legal services:
Ain Shohayota aims to harness the spirit of pro-bono legal representation to enhance both the quality and quantity of legal aid services available to traditionally marginalized individuals. This includes training mediators, bolstering the capabilities of local Legal Aid Committees on effective mediation techniques, and motivating lawyers and law students to volunteer their time and expertise to serve those who cannot afford legal representation.
3. Build and utilize an evidence-based approaches to strengthen justice services:
Ain Shohayota supports and empowers vulnerable and marginalized groups to engage in research on the hurdles faced accessing justice and share these findings with justice sector actors and policy makers to increase inclusivity and promote access to justice for all. The Project also works directly with the justice system to promote access and make it more people-centered, such as reducing the case backlog and promoting uniform application of the law.