By FutureLaw Desk
Student Legal Aid Forum (SLAF), the only youth platform for legal aid awareness in Bangladesh has observed the National Legal Aid Day 2017 through a daylong awareness raising program. Through direct interaction with the people at the margin, SLAF members initiated the introduction of legal aid programs and the benefits in lucid manner.
Led by Mr. Atikul Haque, President of SLAF, the program was conducted by four groups of SLAF members in different spots at University of Dhaka campus area. Young students interacted with the people in the streets, from tea shop workers, street vendors ad rickshaw pullers and provided necessary information regarding government legal aid service. Sayeed Sarwar, the Treasurer of SLAF described the experience as “the best thing of the program was the response from the target people who were in total darkness about the legal aid program of the Govt. Our members of the SLAF were really happy to show them a little light, and they also expressed their desire and determination to carry on this program.“
Initiated and run by a group of enthusiast law students, SLAF started its journey from May 25, 2015 and from then on, it has conducted advocacy workshops in four universities of Bangladesh, and has organized national seminars to raise awareness and motivation among the Law students, who will be the key stakeholders in different sectors of Law and justice in the days to come. As a futuristic goal to ensure access to justice, SLAF launched the One Click Legal Aid app for android platforms last year.
On 26th January, 2000 the Government of Bangladesh passed the Legal Aid Services Act 2000 to make legal aid accessible to the underprivileged and disadvantage people of the country and this Act came into force at 28th April 2000 by a Gazette notification. Therefore, the day was earmarked as the “National Legal Aid Day” in order to enhance awareness among the people about the availability of the Government’s nationwide free legal aid facilities.