Access to Legal Resources
Our Human Rights program supports the holistic model with four core initiatives: legal clinics, legal case resolution, human rights workshops and community bank awareness.
Legal clinics offered by Global Brigades combat the issue of distrust in lawyers by providing free legal clinics. Panamanian lawyers, with the assistance of volunteers, offer legal advice to communities, families, and individuals with unresolved disputes or questions. These clinics are meant to provide no-cost access to legal services that were previously denied or unavailable.
Legal Case Resolution
Global Brigades accepts family law cases for resolution, such as marriage, divorce, child recognition, custody and support. Volunteers perform interviews and intake procedures that are used by the Human Rights staff to resolve the cases that would have been unattended completely or otherwise unresolved for many more years.
Human Rights Workshops
Human Rights volunteers facilitate workshops on complex issues such as gender vs. sex, legal methodologies to protect against and prevent violence and discrimination, right to education, sexual rights in Panama, and many others. These workshops are presented to women’s groups, students, and the community at-large. These workshops provide a safe place to discuss nuanced situations that impact life on a daily basis, while respecting the cultural diversity of the community.
Community Bank Awareness
In order to further support the training and development of our Microfinance Program, volunteers review and present an educational workshop on the by-laws of a given community bank, or caja. This presentation will be directed towards all members of the caja, allowing community members to become more comfortable with the legal guidelines established by and for their community bank.
Over the next three years from 2015-2017, we aim to achieve the following long-term Success Indicators:
- 85% of family cases receive a certificate or decision by the court
- Females represent 90% of human rights education participants
- Indigenous community members represent 20% of legal clinic participants
- Reach 40% of the beneficiaries of the Ministry of Social Development programs through educational human rights workshops
- Provided 25 communities with access to legal resources
- Provided 2,500 community members with access to legal resources
2016 completed indicators
- Provide legal consultation to 180 community members through legal clinics
- Provide 8 new communities with access to legal clinics
Initiate 45 new family cases Resolve 9 family cases Provide human rights education to at least 250 4th-6th grade children Provide human rights education to 700 participants