July 14, 2016

Measuring progress on peace and justice: New global data site for SDG16

by The SDG16 Data Alliance in Post-2015 Agenda Screenshot SDG16 Data website

Press Release United Nations, July 14, 2016 – A coalition of international organizations today launched an online initiative to chart progress on one of the most challenging of the UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the commitment to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies” in all parts of the world, with measurable objectives in specific…

July 13, 2016

Video: What Do We Mean by Legal Empowerment?

by Namati in Community Paralegals / Grassroots Legal Advocates, Global Legal Empowerment Network vivek on stage oslo cropped

In this short video, Namati’s founder and CEO, Vivek Maru, describes the movement for legal empowerment. He tells the story of 70 families in Sierra Leone who won their land back after a chief sold it to a Chinese rubber company without asking them. And the story of a single mom in India, Manisha Goswami, who…

July 8, 2016

It’s time Canada makes access to justice a reality for all

by Adrian Di Giovanni, Vivek Maru, and Lotta Teale in Governance Getty Images

When a child is denied access to school, or an ailing person is shut out of a hospital, the media are quick to expose the injustice. Denial of health care or an education is unthinkable for most Canadians, yet access to justice, particularly for non−criminal issues, is out of reach for millions in this country,…

June 29, 2016

5 Ways the Network Survey Results Influenced our Plans

by Michael Otto in Global Legal Empowerment Network Blue world map

This past December and January we asked members of the Global Legal Empowerment Network about the needs and challenges of their work, and how we can grow stronger as a community. People from 52 countries responded. As we cross the half-year mark, we wanted to share what we learned from the survey, what we’ve done…

June 15, 2016

Forbes: “A New League Of ‘Barefoot Lawyers’ Will Transform Justice In The Next 15 Years”

by Meera Vijayann, contributor in General Nadim Hossain, Bangladeshi pharmacist and Namati client

For the average person, a lawyer may conjure up the image of a professional in a buttoned-down jacket straight out of the legal drama, Suits. But not to Nadim Hossain, a local pharmacist in the city of Khulna, Bangladesh. One of 300,000 Urdu-speaking Bangladeshis settled in a refugee camp set up by the Red Cross…

June 14, 2016

Funding Projects with Trash

by Mustafa Mahmoud, Program Officer, Namati in General Orange farm -IMAG6224

I was excited by my visit to Orange Farm in South Africa. This was an opportunity to realize my dream of seeing in person a community paralegal project that could generate its own income. I have worked in the development sector a long time and know that dependence on grants from donors is a constant…

June 13, 2016

Four Ways Regional Bodies Can Help Deliver SDG Justice Commitments

by Temitayo O. Peters, Global Legal Advocacy Fellow, Namati in Post-2015 Agenda blue background

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) differ from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in many ways. Unlike the MDGs, the SDGs universally apply to all countries, and are holistic and integrated. Moreover, their delivery is to be achieved by governments, civil society, and the private sector working together to achieve their success. The SDGs also recognize…

May 20, 2016

Groundtruthing – A Journey from Law to Environmental Justice

by Vivek Trivedi in General Foam and algae float on water polluted by chemical waste as it enters the Daman River near Vapi from the Common Effluent Treatment Plant, which is operated by the Vapi Industrial Association and monitored by the Gujurat Pollution Control Board. As a result of the plant's failure to properly treat the effluent before release the river is heavily polluted downstream from here.

Vapi, an industrial city on the south coast of Gujurat State, is ranked by the Indian government in the top four sites in the country with highly critical pollution levels. There are as many as 700 small to medium scale chemical production plants in the city. Much of the chemical waste finds it way into two nearby rivers, the Kolak and the Daman.

“The community actually said that the ‘air is so bad and the water is so bad that we can neither cook nor make tea.’” This line, sobering in its daily reality, was delivered at a recent webinar entitled Building Evidence for Justice – Groundtruthing Environmental Compliance, by Kanchi Kohli, Legal Research Director at the CPR-Namati…

May 13, 2016

The Panama Papers, Corruption and the Missing Solution

by Stacey Cram in Governance Tilt-Shift-Beach-713-40

The role of law is to provide safeguards and protection for us all. But when the law resides in the hands of a few, those few have the power to ignore it, evade it, or manipulate it to advance their own interests – often at the expense of others. Such injustices occur around the world…

April 20, 2016

How to Build Evidence for Justice – Groundtruthing Environmental Compliance

by Kanchi Kohli in Community Paralegals / Grassroots Legal Advocates, Environment, Opportunities India pink river sludge

People around the world live in areas that are being altered for industrial, infrastructure or mining projects. Their lives and occupations are being negatively impacted by problems of access, encroachment or pollution. Though governments in many countries have regulatory procedures for implementing environmental and social safeguards to minimize or mitigate such problems, compliance of these…

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