Report of seminars on legal services for the rural poor and other disadvantaged groups
The ICJ has been promoting a series of seminars in Asia, Africa and Latin America on the provision of legal services in rural areas, where the great majority of the population live.
This document contains the reports of the seminars held for South-East Asia (Jakarta, 11-16 January 1987) and South-Asia (Rajpipla, India, 27-31 December 1987).
These seminars have been inspired by a number of Asian organisations which have found a solution to this problem in the training and deployment of ‘paralegals’, who will work at village level to inform people about their rights, to help them to claim and secure those rights and, where necessary, to put them in touch with lawyers in the towns who will take up their cases at a higher level, and as a last resort take proceedings in the courts.
The conclusions, recommendations and the working papers prepared for these two seminars, give an unparalleled insight into the difficulties in carrying out this work. We believe they will be of great assistance to other groups in all regions who are trying to make a contribution to the assistance which lawyers can give to disadvantaged people in the rural areas, who, in their ignorance and lack of organisation, are being cheated, oppressed and denied their basic human rights.
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