Introduction of the organisation

Madaripur Legal Aid Association (MLAA), the first legal aid and human rights organization in Bangladesh, has been working for enhancing access to justice and promoting human rights for the poor, particularly, women, children, and marginalized since its inception in 1978.

The main thematic area of MLAA is access to justice through formal and informal mechanisms, human rights, gender development, capacity building of justice actors, advocacy, and networking with likeminded organizations. From its inception MLAA was a pioneer in providing free legal services to the poor, and has sought redress for violations of human rights through the formal courts ever since.

MLAA introduced a modified mediation technique, known as the Madaripur Mediation Method (“MMM”).  The MMM is a unique, informal, cost-effective and gender sensitive method for resolving disputes facilitated by trained CBO members. The MMM has also been replicated in multiple countries, including Malawi, Kenya, and Sierra Leone.  MLAA had started to activate Village Courts, Arbitration Councils of Union Parishad and Dispute Resolution Board of Pawrashava providing the training and necessary technical assistance.

MLAA has also been advocating for reformation and new enactment identifying limitations and short-fall of laws focused the issues at national level in collaboration with other likeminded organizations.

MLAA has developed modules, manuals, and other training materials to promote justice and human rights for keeping in view the requirement of itself and other organizations and has been operating a wide range of awareness & social mobilization programs through various activities that address the issues on legal rights, family law, violence against women & children, mostly with youth and students.

Programmatic interventions

MLAA has been working above programmatic areas, particularly Legal Aid, Enhance Mediation, Activating Village Courts, Powra Board Act, Awareness on legal and rights issues and to reform & enact new law.  Beside these regular activities MLAA is supporting and proving COVID prevention materials at District Judge Courts, GJM Courts, Prisons, DLAC Offices of three districts, Madaripur, Gopalganj and Sirajganj from July 2021 under its Justice and Prison Reform for Promoting Human Rights and Preventing Corruption in Bangladesh”(JPR Project) supported by GIZ. The Materials are a) 3-layer cloth mask-6300, Mosquito liquate-270 lits, Soap- 6000 pieces, Hand Senitizer-900 pieces, IR Thermometer-03, Bleaching Powder-3 drams, Disincentive Spray for Court-148 pieces, Sanitary Napkin (for female prisoners)-270 pack:  and Spray Machine-3.   There is a plan to provide Mask-1212 pieces and Hand Senitizers-450 pieces to three District Bar Associations (Madaripur, Gopalganj and Sirajganj).

Future outlook and recommendations

MLAA will increase awareness program on legal and rights issues within youth groups and strengthen service provider institutions with an aim to contribute more in goal 16 of SDG. In case of escalation COVID or any undesirable disease MLAA will take lake appropriate step to assist stakeholders.

Website link of the organization