April 19, 2019

Legal Aid Camps in Barishal and Chittagong

A lawyer dressed in a traditional black blazer and white collared shirt sits at a table covered with educational materials in a brightly colored tent and listens to a woman seated across the table.
Rejaul Karim Siddiquee, BlueLaw International's EPD In-Country Coordinator, receives a client at a legal aid camp organized by Bangladesh Protibandhi Unayan Sangstha (BPUS) on April 18, 2019.

On April 18, 2019, Bangladesh Protibandhi Unayan Sangstha (BPUS) organized a legal aid camp to identify prospective Section 36 applicants. The camp attracted 157 participants, many of whom learned about the DRPA for the first time. Fourteen requests for legal aid were processed for follow-up action by both BPUS and Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust's (BLAST) Barishal Unit Office.

Ms. Abida Azad (center), Councilor of the Chittagong City Corporation, inaugurates Disabled Development and Resource Centre's (DDRC) legal aid camp on April 25, 2019, alongside Shazzad Islam (seated), DDRC's Executive Director, members of DDRC. Sarah Iqbal and Habiba Akter (first and second from L) of USAID also attended the event.

On April 25, 2019, Disabled Development and Resource Centre (DDRC) organized a legal aid camp to identify prospective Section 36 applicants. The camp was inaugurated by Ms. Abida Azad, Councilor of the Chittagong City Corporation, and attracted 176 participants. Twenty-two requests for legal aid were processed for follow-up action by both DDRC and Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust's (BLAST) Chittagong Unit Office.

March 2, 2019

Legal Aid Camp in Rangpur

On March 1, 2019, Prottasha Protibandhi Nari O Shishu Unnyan (Prottasha) organized a legal aid camp with support from BlueLaw International, LLP and Bangladesh Legal Aid Service Trust's (BLAST) Rangpur Unit to link prospective justice-seekers with disabilities with legal aid providers. Approximately 150 persons with disabilities attended the daylong camp to learn about their rights under the Disabled Persons' Rights & Protection Act, 2013 and how to present claims under Sections 36 and 37 of the Act. Ten persons with disabilities received individual legal advice at no cost, and 2 are preparing to present claims. Prottasha, a women with disabilities-run disabled people's organization (DPO), is one of seven DPOs throughout Bangladesh to receive small grant awards from BlueLaw International, as part of USAID’s Expanding Participation of People with Disability program, to mobilize diverse stakeholders in Rangpur to promote effective implementation of the Disabled Persons' Rights & Protection Act. All small grantees receive technical support from BlueLaw's national-level partners, the National Grassroots Disabilities Organization (NGDO), National Council of Disabled Women (NCDW), and BLAST.

Photo caption: A woman with disability in Rangpur registers to receive free legal aid in order to seek redress for a violation of the Disabled Persons' Rights & Protection Act, 2013.


December 3, 2018

First Section 36 Application in Brahmanbaria

On December 2, 2018, Disabled Development and Research Center (DDRC), one of the 7 small grantee DPOs under USAID's Expanding Participation of People with Disability Program (EPD), filed the first-ever recorded complaint under Section 36 of the DRPA in the District Social Welfare Office of Brahmanbaria. Presented by DDRC’s Advocacy and Training Officer, Nurunnahar, the complaint was filed with the assistance of Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) on behalf of a young woman named Sadia Akter who alleged being excluded from sitting for an examination because of her disability in violation of DRPA Sections 16(1)(ja) and (Da).

Nurunnahar (L), Advocacy and Training Officer, DDRC files the EPD Team’s first Section 36 application on behalf of Sadia Akter with Masudul Hasan Taposh (R), Deputy Director, District Social Welfare Office, Brahmanbaria on December 2, 2018.

October 18, 2018

First Small Grantees Conference

From October 14 to 16, 2018, as part of USAID’s Expanding Participation of People with Disability program, BlueLaw International, LLP and its partners organized the first of two conferences for the 7 disabled people's organizations (DPOs) from 7 districts selected through a competitive application process. At the conference, BlueLaw oriented small grantees on their small grant award requirements, distributed copies in traditional and accessible formats of the DPO Advocacy Handbook and Lawyers Technical Manual, and workshopped their advocacy proposals to promote implementation of Bangladesh’s Disabled Persons Rights and Protection Act, 2013 at the district level. Over the three days, the small grantees also interacted with prominent Bangladeshi disability rights leaders, including Monsur Ahmed Chowdhury, Vashkar Bhattarcharjee, Nazma Ara Begum Popy, and Nasrin Jahan.

Photo Caption: Participants at the first small grantees conference gather underneath the program banner for a final group photo.

October 15, 2018

Book Launching Ceremony

On October 14, 2018, as part of USAID’s Expanding Participation of People with Disability program, BlueLaw International, LLP and its partners Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST), the National Grassroots Disability Organization (NGDO), and the National Council of Disabled Women (NCDW), organized a book launching ceremony in Dhaka to disseminate copies in traditional and accessible formats of the DPO Advocacy Handbook and Lawyers Technical Manual. These one-of-a-kind resources introduce disabled people's organizations (DPOs) and members of the legal community to Bangladesh's Disabled Persons Rights and Protection Act, 2013 and provides practice pointers for effective legal advocacy strategies.

Photo Caption: Launching ceremony guests stand, holding print copies of both the DPO Advocacy Handbook and Lawyers Technical Manual. From L to R, Hezzy Smith, Md. Jafrul Hasan, Justice Naima Haider, Justice Md. Nizamul Huq, Meghna Guhathakurta, Vashkar Bhattacharjee, and M. Osman Khaled.

May 12, 2018

Training for DPOs on the Disabled Persons Rights and Protection Act, 2013

From May 9 to 11, 2018, as part of USAID’s Expanding Participation of People with Disability program, BlueLaw International, LLP, in partnership with Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST), the National Grassroots Disabilities Organization (NGDO), and the National Council of Disabled Women (NCDW), organized a capacity-building training for 12 disabled peoples' organizations (DPOs) from 8 districts. The three-day training educated participants about the rights and remedies recognized under the Disabled Persons Rights and Protection Act, 2013 and also gave them technical assistance for developing and implementing high-quality legal advocacy proposals in their respective districts.

Photo Caption: Training participants role play how DPOs should conduct intake when receiving a complaint of a rights violation under the Disabled Persons Rights and Protection Act, 2013.

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