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Community Paralegal Training for CSO partners organization

On March 9th and 10th , MyJustice is conducting a training on Community Paralegal for CSO partners organization with the purpose of building foundation skills in the design and management of a community paralegal programme.

Community paralegals are non-lawyers from the local community who are empowered and equipped with knowledge and tools to provide crucial assistance to people with justice related problems. As many MyJustice partner organisations include community paralegal components in their work, the training was designed to help partners consider and address common challenges to paralegal programmes.

The agenda included key considerations at the start of a paralegal programme, aspects of a paralegal model, paralegal selection and recruitment in Myanmar, sharing experiences with each other and effective advocacy and engagement options.

Twenty three participants attended the workshop from among nine partners and seven of their sub-partners. The workshop was delivered by MyJustice in partnership with Namati, a legal empowerment organisation which has been supporting paralegal programmes in Myanmar to provide assistance on land-related issues.

Daw Kyi Kyi Soe, project officer of Terre des hommes-Lausanne, who attended the event, has worked as a community paralegal working for child soldiers, child trafficking and child rape case since 2009. She stated, “We need to promote the role of paralegal in community. Many people in community are not familiar with judiciary procedure and they do not know what to do when they face justice issues. I believe the strength of this training is sharing experience each other (partner organizations).”

U Kyaw Zin, coordinator of Yaung Chi Oo workers association use paralegal to help workers to claim their entitlements under law. However, he noted that paralegals also face challenges. “For example, we have very little opportunity to make formal complaints when we help construction workers who are not mentioned in law.”

MyJustice is committed to supporting the growth of community paralegalism in Myanmar, and plans to offer its partners a series of events to supporting the development of their capacity in this vital community service.