IDPs Legal Assistance Project

Legal Aid Assistance Project for IDP’s (District Bannu)

Sponsored by: Community Development Program (CDP)

Project Focus:

  • Poor and vulnerable population (IDPs and Refugees) is aware of legal rights and better able to access formal and alternative justice forums and mechanisms.

Overview:

The Legal Assistance for IDPs & Refugees Project is envisaged as a preparatory effort to consolidate geographic focus, sharpen programmatic focus, and deepen impact for UNDP’s Rule of Law interventions in KP. It aims to build on the strengths and achievements of the Adal-o-Insaf Project (in Southern KP & Hazara Division) as well as the Strengthening Rule of Law in Malakand (SRLM) which were the two key interventions launched in this area by UNDP Pakistan. The proposed project represents an opportune vehicle for sound-boarding programming options and ground-truthing implementation modalities to pave the way for deeper engagement in the sector to better address the grievances of IDPs.

Low legal literacy persists among IDPs mainly in targeted district Bannu where unsubsidized legal assistance represents an affordability barrier; lack of awareness concerning legal rights and procedures constitutes an informational barrier. The IDPs are mostly unaware of their legal rights, how to access them, and what to do or who to approach when those rights are denied. The problem intensifies amongst women, particularly with regard to inheritance rights. This information asymmetry exposes them to a host of exploitation risks at the hands of IDPs support institutions, lawyers, court staff, police, and prosecutors. They are open to victimization by all justice sector agents.

Insaf Network Pakistan implemented UNDP Legal Assistance Project for IDPs from 1st October, 2014 till 31st December, 2014. During project phase, project garnered promising results in District Bannu, following one quarter of implementation. Via mass and targeted awareness campaigns, project has sensitized 57,219 IDPs on their rights, available remedies, forums of redressals, basic laws and procedures. Team of 10 Lawyers (5 male and 5 female) has been hired and trained on Project Scope, Rule of Law, IDPs rights, IDPs issues and Psycho social support. 3 Legal Aid Camps, 2 Legal Aid Desks, 2 Focal Points and a Helpline has been linked and established under the project. Team of Lawyers was responsible for running Legal Aid Camps for IDPs establish in Bannu under the project. These lawyers facilitated (in term of Legal Assistance, Legal Advice, Legal Guidance & Referrals) over 25000 IDPs out of which 13,173 were female and 11,972 were male IDP.

In addition, 43 court cases have been initiated in which 120 IDPs has been represented free of charge in civil, criminal, and family matters via 2 Legal Aid Desks established under UNDP Adal-o-Insaf Project. In particular, the legal team provided support to the 101 North Waziristan IDPs who were arrested for clashing with the police at a distribution point in Bannu in on the 13th November, 2014. Out of 101 people arrested, 72 IDPs have so far been facilitated under the project. For intervention sustainability, 34 educated IDPs has been identified and trained as Community Paralegals. These paralegals provided awareness to 10,300 IDPs via Door to Door Campaign. Two Focal Points (one at NADRA Office and other at Education Office) provided legal assistance to over 1,837 IDPs. 34 IDPs has been facilitated via Helpline.