Future of Legal Aid in South Asia for Sexual Violence Offences Against Women And Girls: Lessons From The Past Five Years
One of the biggest challenges faced by people across the world is the need for legal representation. According to the World Justice Project report in 2019, there are 1.4 billion people with unmet civil and administrative justice needs globally. The concept of legal aid across South Asian countries was a means to ensure that those in need of legal representation are able to access and benefit from this service. It was also meant to strengthen the criminal justice system in these countries.
State-run legal aid programmes have had a long history in most of the countries in South Asia. Yet, there are many common challenges that continue to impact its responsiveness and efficacy on the ground in most South Asian countries. With high rates of illiteracy, there is a general lack of awareness of the availability of legal aid, which affects its uptake and effectiveness. The limited infrastructure provided by the state, along with declining state financial support, affects the quality and capacity of those engaged in providing legal aid programmes. This, in turn, affects the quality of these programmes and their final outcome of justice, particularly for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. Marginalised groups, like women with disabilities, face additional challenges, which need sensitive solutions that cater to their specific needs, like the use of sign language.
In order to establish a better understanding of the current issues related to legal aid services, Equality Now is hosting a dialogue on the future of legal aid services with reference to sexual violence in South Asia.
Join us on Thursday, November 23, at 11:30 AM (IST) to learn more.
Please join us for this important conversation to arrive at possible solutions that take into account lessons from the past five years and rapidly changing socio-economic contexts.
You can register to join us online via Zoom.