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Make the Road: Developing a Membership Model that Builds the Power of Immigrant and Working Class Communities

+Acumen, Open Society Justice Initiative,

Make the Road is the largest nonunion immigrant membership organization in New York, in the United States. This case study explores Make the Road’s experiments with innovative financing. To support this work, the team at Make the Road has developed a robust and diversified funding model. In 2019, the vast majority of the organization’s overall…

LAWPADI: Experimenting with Business Models to Provide Legal Services to Nigerians at Scale

+Acumen, Open Society Justice Initiative,

This case study explores the efforts of Tunde Ibidapo-Obe, founder Lawpadi, to develop a business model to fund an online platform for legal services in Nigeria. Initially, Tunde imagined Lawpadi could have a vetted panel of lawyers that they could refer customers to and charge a commission fee in exchange. When it became clear that…

Centre for Community Justice and Development: Using Innovative Financing to Sustain Legal Empowerment Work in South Africa

+Acumen, Open Society Justice Initiative,

This case study follows the story of Winnie Martens, founding director of the Centre for Community Justice (CCJD) in South Africa, as she shaped the organization into a nonprofit social enterprise focused on the intertwined mission of “justice” and “development” for local communities surrounding The University of KwaZulu-Natal. Today, the organization supports a network of…

Justice Policy Series, Part 1: Access to Justice

Open Government Partnership, Joseph Foti, Jessica Hickle, Maha Jweied,

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) provides an opportunity for government and civil society reformers to make government more transparent, participatory, and accountable. Working together, government and civil society co-create two-year action plans with concrete commitments across a broad range of issues that are then monitored by OGP’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM). Until recently, access to…

Using Legal Empowerment for Labour Rights in India

Rina Agarwala,

This resource comes from the Journal of Development Studies, 2019 Vol. 55, No. 3, 401–419. This paper brings labour back into the literature on legal empowerment against poverty. Employing a historical lens, I outline three waves of legal movements. Each wave is distinguished by its timing, the state-level target, and the actors involved. In all…

Can Business Rights Alleviate Group-Based Inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa? Understanding the Limits to Reform

Scott D. Taylor,

This resource is from The Journal of Development Studies 2019, Vol. 55, No. 3, 420 – 436. Africa’s indigenous minorities face unique constraints, particularly in terms of engaging in even the most basic business activities. They typically lack business rights, but, even where such rights have been extended, they have had scant impact on group…

Diagnóstico sobre acceso a la justicia laboral por parte de trabajadores y trabajadoras migrantes en Costa Rica

Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT),

El presente diagnóstico se centra en estudiar el acceso a la justicia laboral por parte de personas trabajadoras migrantes, principalmente de nacionalidad nicaragüense, procurando identificar los principales obstáculos que enfrenta esta población a la hora de acudir a las instancias judiciales y los nudos críticos que se presentan en el desarrollo del proceso ordinario laboral….

Legal Empowerment Experiences from Latin America

Namati, Fundación Construir, TECHO Brasil, Themis - Gênero, Justiça e Direitos Humanos, Grupo de Monitoreo Independiente de El Salvador (GMIES), Julieta Marotta,

This publication leads the way toward a greater effort to generate robust knowledge about legal empowerment practices in Latin America, to promote a dialogue based on grassroots experiences, and to show evidence about how legal empowerment helps to foster access to justice. In the following pages, we offer five concrete experiences drawn from different countries in…

Legal Empowerment of Informal Workers Formalizing Street Vending as a Tool for Poverty Reduction

Ana Maria Vargas ,

Being poor, uneducated and unemployed can be a crime in many places in the world, particularly when you decide to sell food or other products in the streets. The penalties can be as high as six months in prison in countries like Egypt, and can include the confiscation of their goods or fines that have…

Interview with Kav LaOved: Winner of the Grassroots Justice Prize in the #WalkTogether Prize for Courage Category

Posted by Namati in Global Legal Empowerment Network

The biennial Grassroots Justice Prize competition recognizes grassroots organizations and institutions, large and small, across the globe, that are working to put the power of law in people’s hands. The Grassroots Justice Prize is brought to you by the Global Legal Empowerment Network in collaboration with Namati, The Elders, Walk Together, UNDP, and World Justice…

India’s National Green Tribunal Sets an Important Precedent

Posted by Krithika Dinesh, Manju Menon, and Kanchi Kohli in Environment

A Casual Approach  By taking on board the concerns of a fishing community in Hazira, India, regarding the construction of a port, the National Green Tribunal has set an important precedent. I n 2013, a fishermen’s group in Hazira—the Hazira Machimar Samiti—and three affected fishermen had filed a petition against the Adanis, the project proponent…

Online Database of Land-based Investment Contracts Invites Innovative Proposals

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Environment, Land & Natural Resources, Opportunities

OpenLandContracts.org aims to promote greater transparency of land-based investments, facilitate a better understanding of the contracts that govern them, and provide useful tools for governments, communities, companies, and other stakeholders. Initially launched in October 2015, the repository provides the full text of contracts, as well as plain language summaries of each contract’s key social, environmental, human…

The Maid and the Madame: Rights for Migrant Workers in Jordan

Posted by Bremen Donovan in Global Legal Empowerment Network

Meet Linda Alkalash, whose organization, Daem, works to protect migrant workers and combat human trafficking in Jordan. In this latest entry in our Middle East series, Linda recounts the story of a Sri Lankan domestic worker who went fourteen years without receiving her salary – a case not too uncommon, as she explains.