Namati

Grassroots Legal Advocates

Grassroots legal advocates are the common thread that links all of Namati’s programs and the Global Legal Empowerment Network. Depending on context, they may be called barefoot lawyers, community advisors and mobilisers, or even health advocates or environmental coordinators. Quite often they are simply known as community paralegals.

Whatever they are called, they share common characteristics – they are trained in basic law and in skills like mediation, organizing, education, and advocacy. They form a dynamic, creative frontline that can engage formal and traditional institutions alike.

Grassroots legal advocates in our global network tackle justice challenges across a wide variety of communities and issues, from women’s empowerment to prisoners’ rights. Namati’s specialist grassroots advocates work on land, health, citizenship and environmental justice, but we also support the work of generalist advocates who provide primary justice services where lawyers are rare and injustice common – such as in post-war Sierra Leone.

We are also overseeing a global research study into how paralegals operate in different contexts.

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