Grassroots Strategic Litigation + Community-Level Networks: A Progressive Vision for Social Change
While there are numerous ways to effectively address poverty related issues, we believe that the rule of law can – and must – be used to advance the rights of marginalized communities. While poverty and deprivation are rooted in historical and structural inequality, phenomenon such as maternal mortality, homelessness, and malnutrition are too often these conditions are seen as fatal outcomes for the poor, rather than systemic violations of human rights. In these circumstances, strategic litigation, particularly when developed from the grassroots, can serve as a tool for social change. With courts issuing decisions that carry the potential to alter structural relations and provide concrete, immediate reliefs.
A. Grass Roots Strategic Litigation
We believe it’s our responsibility to capitalize on the remarkable access to justice, and to do so effectively. To that end, Nazdeek provides on the ground legal support to assist in the development of and understanding behind strategic litigation. Litigation activities aim to align national laws and policies with international human rights obligations, as well as hold governments accountable for implementation of existing law.
Each project will involve the development of 2 PILs seeking expansion of health, housing, and food benefits for persons living below the poverty line. For example, a right to health project with PAJHRA, an advocacy organization working with Adivasis communities in Assam, would seek accountability in accessing maternal and child health services for community members living on the tea plantations. Our team works with local partners at every stage of the case, from the identification and documentation of human rights violations, to research, drafting, and filing of petitions, assistance in oral advising, and discussion on available reliefs and enforcement mechanisms. We conduct capacity building programs and provide legal literacy materials on socio-economic rights. Templates, such as fact-finding surveys, reports, petition outlines, and sample contempt applications, will also be shared with local partners to establish a repository of information for future cases/interventions. Interventions strengthen the capacity of activists and establish a sustainable system to redress violations. We also encourage and asist local lawyers to bring human rights perspective in case filed before the district courts.
B. Community-Level Networks
We believe that effective legal advocacy is rooted in active community participation. Too often positive judgments go neglected, with local lawyers lacking resources to monitor enforcement, and community members left out of the legal process. To ensure that legal achievements translate to positive changes on the ground, we build and coordinate community-based networks comprised of community members, lawyers, students, and journalists. Over the project period, network members will attend innovative rights-based trainings aimed at increasing legal literacy, skill sharing, and monitoring and enforcement of policies and court orders. Community-oriented legal resource materials, such as toolkits, short publications and manuals will also be produced and disseminated, with resources informed by effective cross-border and global south strategies on implementation. Internal target activities, such as joint fact-finding investigations, advocacy campaigns, and public hearings will also be established to jumpstart collaborative advocacy between network members.
Housing is a core component of the right to an adequate standard of living. Read More.
It is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Right to Life, observes Supreme Court of India. Read More.
State has to guarantee that the right to health is available, accessible and of high quality. Read More.