In 1985 BRAC initiated its Human Rights and Legal Aid Services[i] (HRLS) , using an empowerment approach based on education, a cadre of legal outreach workers, and legal aid clinics aimed at protecting the rights of the most vulnerable and halting violence against women and girls. A decade later the effort was expanded to include gender justice training and outreach. Up to 5% of brac’s total staff emerged as community outreach workers or “barefoot lawyers” with hundfeds of legal aid clinics where vulnerable populations understand their rights and advocate for a better quality life. It can be hugely instructive to search any asian nation applying barefoot to a range of professions or creative services- whilst the roles developed in any goal 1 poverty ending nation have diverse and nuanced differences this will give you insights into the fabric of society , infrastructure flows both physical and digital and conscousness that top down masters of administration never see as vital adaptive opportunities. If the UN is to end greenwashing of sustainability goals the celebration let alone the safety of barefoot climate lawyers, barefoot health lawyers, barefoot digital wizards will need to be integrated into any transformative sdg movement.
[i] An example pf searching brac barefoot lawyers leads to authoritative reports such as https://www.openglobalrights.org/funding-for-human-rights-brac-experience/
BRAC Human Rights and Legal Aid Services (HRLS) programme is dedicated to protecting and promoting human rights of the poor and marginalised through legal empowerment. HRLS operates 517 Legal Aid Clinics in 61 of 64 districts across Bangladesh and is the largest NGO- led legal aid programme in the world.
Corinne Henchoz Pignani. Deputy Head of Cooperation, Embassy of Switzerland in Bangladesh
related brac vocabulary
social cohesion fund
hcmp humanitarian crisis mamagement program