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Rights and Social Justice

SJA has been implementing justice sector program since 2003 with the effective technical support from different international donor agencies. Among them, SJA has implemented the Gender, Knowledge, Networking and Human Rights Intervention in Bangladesh Project with the financial support of AED/USAID with the association of BLAST from the year of 2003 to 2006, in aiming to generate policy-relevant knowledge on gender-related rights violation, influence the justice-seeking behavior of individuals
victimized of human rights violation and create gender social capital at household and community level. The major activities were mediation (Salish), along with 3 issues regarding local justice concerning women: – Marital (dowry, divorce, custody of children, polygamy), – Economic (inheritance), & – Transgression of sexual codes.

Moreover, to address domestic violence (DV) issues at the community and family level, SJA has also been implemented Community Mobilisation to End Violence against Women (CMPEVAE) since March 2005 with the assistance of Oxfam-GB at the 4 districts of Sylhet division. The project introduces a development paradigm in gender and development to end VAW. It complements and facilitates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, CEDAW, The Beijing Declaration, MDG, PRSP and ‘Jatio Nari Unnoyan Nitimala’ of GoB. This project aims to create mass awareness and look for essential changes in people’s thoughts, values, attitudes and behavior at the community and family level. The project preventive program such as awareness-raising, group formation and meeting, school program, drama/folk song, etc. including campaign and responsive mode activities such as support to survivors, counseling, referral, advocacy and communication with the law-enforcing agency (Police), hospital/health personnel and judiciary.

SJA has executed Protecting Human Rights (PHR) program in Balagonj Upazila under Sylhet district with the support of Plan International/USAID. The main strategy of this project is to make Union Parishad active by responding to cases properly and make them aware of existing laws. Human rights violation especially violence against women is widespread and increasing. The less empowered and destitute women are deprived of their basic rights in the society. To address Human Rights especially Domestic Violence (DV) issues at the community and family level, the organization has been implementing PHR project. The PHR is one of the most important projects’ in response to developing justice-seeking behavior, access to justice, establishing equal gender and to end VAW at the community & family level. Through this program, SJA intends to reduce all kinds of violence that make the people’s life miserable. Community-level mediation, psycho-social counseling, awareness building; helping Union Parishad for handling disputes lawfully and legal service support are the main component of this project. SJA has been implementing this project with effective and strong networking with Lawyers of District Bar, BNWLA, BLAST and other legal service provider organizations.

SJA has implemented Justice for All-Moulvibazar as a partner of JFA program funded by the NCSC-US Agency for International Development (USAID). This project’s goal was to “ensure justice for all especially most marginalized and vulnerable people of 67 Unions of 7 Upazilas under Moulvibazar District”. The project creates mass awareness of the facilities and benefits of Government Legal Aid Service, focuses to improve legal aid services at the local level, increased governance in the judiciary and increased awareness on legal aid issues through empowering citizens and increase access to justice and building a strategic partnership.
This project was supported in the activation of the government legal aid system from the District Legal Aid Committee to Union Parishad Legal Aid Committee.

The project targeted the poor and excluded; particularly young people, women, children and minorities aiming to support sustainable improvements in the way that formal justice is withheld at the local level, ensuring that the system is more responsive to those most in need. Moreover, the project works to increase the visibility of legal aid services, facilitates in organizing coordination meetings with relevant stakeholders and duty bearers. The meetings create a space to make
legal aid services accountable, available and accessible. Also, in the year of 2009-2010 SJA has implemented a project titled “Ensuring Access to Justice for Women Victims and Poor People by Activating Village Court and Arbitration Council of Union Parishad” with the support of MJF.

Besides these, SJA has been providing psychosocial counseling to the victims of DV in One stop Crisis Center (OCC) under the Multi-Sectoral Programme on Violence Against Women with the support of GoB. Consequently, under the PRP of Bangladesh police SJA has been SJA has been providing psychosocial counseling to the victims of DV at Kotwali Model Police Station, Sylhet.