Promoting Access to Justice in Herat, Afghanistan

The project aims to promote access to justice for marginalized women, youth, and children in Herat, Afghanistan, over a duration of two years. The project encompasses several components that work together to improve knowledge about legal issues, enhance capacity among legal professionals and stakeholders, raise public awareness, and improve the professionalism of law and theology students through an internship scheme.

Component 1: Improving Knowledge about Legal Issues and Access to Justice

The project seeks to improve the knowledge of 4128 marginalized women, youth, and children about legal issues and their access to justice. This will be achieved through the establishment of a legal center, known as the Citizens’ Rights Protection (CPR) center. The CPR center will serve as a resource hub where individuals can seek information, guidance, and support regarding legal matters. The center will provide legal literacy programs, workshops, and counseling services to increase understanding and awareness of legal rights and avenues for accessing justice.

Component 2: Enhancing Capacity of Legal Professionals and Stakeholders

To ensure effective delivery of justice, the project aims to enhance the capacity of 200 staff members from the court, lawyer associations, prosecuting departments, prison staff, and police. Capacity-building programs will be provided through training sessions and interdepartmental quarterly coordination meetings held in Herat City. These activities will focus on improving legal knowledge, skills, and professionalism among the targeted professionals, enabling them to provide better support and services to citizens seeking justice.

Component 3: Capacity Enhancement of Civil Society Organizations and Local Authorities

The project recognizes the importance of engaging civil society organizations, provincial council members, Community Development Councils (CDCs), and local government authorities in promoting access to justice. Through training programs, these stakeholders will receive capacity-building support, enabling them to better assist citizens in accessing justice and legal aid. Furthermore, these entities will be linked to the CPR center, becoming active members to support and advocate for the rights of marginalized individuals in their respective districts.

Component 4: Public Awareness Raising on Civic Law and Rights

Public awareness campaigns will be conducted to raise awareness about civic law, with a particular focus on women, youth, and children’s rights. The project will utilize various channels such as media platforms, publications, meetings, and roundtable discussions to disseminate information and engage the broader community. These activities aim to empower individuals to understand and assert their rights and navigate the justice system more effectively.

Component 5: Improving Professionalism of Law and Theology Students

To foster the development of legal professionals, the project will focus on improving the professionalism of 40 senior students studying law and theology at Herat University, particularly those from rural areas. An integrated internship scheme will be implemented to provide practical experience and mentorship opportunities. This will enhance their skills, knowledge, and understanding of the justice system, preparing them for future legal careers and enabling them to contribute effectively to the promotion of access to justice.

The project’s overarching objective is to create a more inclusive and accessible justice system in Herat by improving knowledge, capacity, awareness, and professionalism among key stakeholders. By empowering marginalized women, youth, and children, and fostering collaboration between legal professionals, civil society organizations, and local authorities, the project aims to strengthen access to justice for all members of the community.

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