We are a small not-for-profit organisation supporting overseas projects that are working to build grassroots legal capacity in some of the poorest communities in the world, where there is an urgent need for access to justice.
Legal aid for the poorest and most vulnerable people in society is under constant threat around the world, even in the most developed countries. However in many developing countries the lack of basic legal aid contributes to injustice on an almost unimaginable scale.
Legal empowerment projects use a grassroots approach - mobilising communities by training up and deploying teams of grassroots legal advocates (otherwise known as 'community paralegals' or 'barefoot lawyers') to plug the legal aid gap in their area.
These projects target a wide range of primary justice problems - from criminal justice, community land protection and environmental justice to health rights, citizenship and women's empowerment as well as other issues.
LawAid partners with overseas legal empowerment projects in order to make their international volunteer opportunities more accessible. These are not simply law 'placements'; but personal, professional, cross-cultural 'experiences' which aim to leave demonstrable, lasting impact on community, project and volunteer.
And in doing so we hope to encourage the spread of knowledge, understanding and commitment to the field of legal empowerment.
LawAid is a member of the Global Legal Empowerment Network. In this short video Vivek Maru of Namati gives an insight into the work of grassroots legal advocates around the world;