Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST)
|Type:||NGO working on Crime|
|Address:||YMCA Development Center, 3rd Floor, 1/1 Pioneer Road, Kakrail,
|Region:||Southern and Eastern Asia|
Other:'Human Rights, Rule of Law'
||BLAST’s mission is to make the legal system accessible to the poor and the marginalized. Its major achievements include:
- Legal Aid, - ADR: BLAST has resolved through alternate dispute resolution (ADR) over 15,000 disputes across the country on issues pertaining to family, land, finances, petty crime, and labour.
- Litigation: BLAST has represented over 35,000 indigent people, mostly women, since 2003. It has won the majority of its cases.
- Awareness/Training: BLAST organizes courtyard meetings to educate communities about their human and legal rights. It also organizes training workshops for local leaders.
- Gopigah Legal Aid Clinic: BLAST has established a legal aid clinic in the slums of Dhaka to increase awareness of their legal rights and assist them in realizing their rights. Special attention is paid to domestic violence.
- Investigations: BLAST has conducted investigations into over 175 human rights violations impacting women, children, religious and ethnic minorities, and the community at large.
- Public Interest Litigation (PIL) and Advocacy:
- PIL: Since 1996 BLAST has filed 82 separate writs by way of public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. These petitions have resulted in judicial orders on government authorities to comply with statutory duties and have led to the expansive interpretation of fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution of Bangladesh.
- Legislative Advocacy: BLAST has undertaken advocacy for and facilitated major amendments to the National Legal Services Act and various Labour Laws. It was also a key member in the drafting committee of an NGO Network the Coalition of Voices Against Domestic Violence, which resulted in the Domestic Violence Bill. It is currently involved in several other Advocacy Networks including one on protecting the rights of Domestic Workers.
- Networking: BLAST has developed relationships with other NGOs, judges, lawyers, the government, and the media in order to ensure effective legal protection of rights. BLAST has developed a relatonship with rights organizations in Nepal, Pakistan, and India to facilitate the repatriation of foreign nationals in Bangladeshi prisons and Bangladeshi nationals in foreign prisons.