Legal literacy and legal support services

Legal literacy and legal support services

Legal literacy programmes aim to provide affected populations with an increased knowledge of their rights and ways to seek redress for violations. They support a strengthened legal framework by empowering communities to access justice for human rights violations, so that violations do not occur within a context of impunity. They include:

  • Hotlines
  • Broad-based communication campaigns, and
  • Peer education services for networks of people living with HIV and key populations.

Legal support services provide legal information, advice, referrals and representation for rights violations. They include:

  • Providing legal advice and representation
  • Strengthening alternative and community based dispute resolution mechanisms
  • Engaging religious or traditional leaders and traditional legal systems
  • Strategic litigation
  • Sensitization and training of law enforcement officials and health workers in relevant areas of law, and
  • Strengthening services for legal information and referrals.
Case Study: Strengthening legal literacy and legal support services in Asia and the Pacific

In Cambodia, a community legal service provides free legal advice to sex workers in Phnom Penh and a legal advice hotline provides advice on violence protection and other legal issues using interactive voice software. Community networks have received training on documentation of human rights and legal rights violations. A toolkit on scaling up legal services for people living with HIV and key populations was published and disseminated.

NGOs in Indonesia have made progress in piloting of legal aid services for sex workers through OPSI (Indonesian Sex Workers Network) and LBH Masyarakat (Community Legal Aid Institute). Legal aid services for people who use drugs were expanded by the use of paralegals through PKNI (Indonesian Network of People Who Use Drugs) and LBH Masyarakat. Funding for the Stigma Index and community- 3. Key country-level recommendations since 2012 27 led documentation of quality of and access to services for key populations (including stigma and discrimination) was provided by the Global Fund.

In Bangladesh, a local CSO has collaborated with the National Human Rights Commission (JAMAKON) and the National Legal Aid Services Organization to provide legal aid and support to more than 2 000 community members through its legal hotline (Ain-Alap). Through this collaboration,

  • 186 complaints have been documented
  • A district level Lawyers Group Committee has been formed, consisting of 190 lawyers who provide pro bono services to the community;
  • A watch dog committee has been formed at the divisional level, consisting of 42 front-line community members who document human rights violations.
Review of Country Progress in Addressing Legal and Policy Barriers to Universal Access to HIV services in Asia and the Pacific
Critical Enablers