BLAST provides legal advice and representation at all levels of the justice system, in particular to those living in poverty or facing disadvantage or discrimination. Legal services, including mediation, litigation, and legal rights training, are provided through BLAST’s head office, 19-unit offices and 2 project offices across Bangladesh.
BLAST facilitates alternative dispute resolution (ADR) through mediation for family, land, financial, petty criminal, and labour matters. We have settled 62,263 disputes across the country till June, 2023. Resolving disputes through mediation allows individuals and families to quickly recover land, assets, maintenance, dower and/or arrears of wages. By providing mediation services, we have also contributed towards reducing the overwhelming number of cases pending before local courts.
BLAST provides advice and representation for individuals whose disputes cannot resolved through mediation, or who have been victims of criminal offences or human rights violations. A staggering number of BLAST’s clients are women living in poverty. BLAST has filed 112,743 cases till June 2023, and the majority of resolved cases have been decided in favor of our clients. Our litigation services play a crucial role in ensuring access to the justice system for poor and vulnerable people.
BLAST also files public interest litigation (PIL) petitions in the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. Visit our Public Interest Litigation (PIL) Repository to see a compilation of PIL cases in Bangladesh.
BLAST conducts awareness programmes across Bangladesh among the public about legal rights and remedies, focusing on courtyard meetings for women. We also conduct training workshops for local community leaders to build legal awareness.
Gopigagh Legal Aid Clinic
BLAST’s legal aid clinic undertakes awareness activities for Dhaka slum dwellers on laws and constitutional rights that affect them the most. The clinic also provides mediation services and makes referrals to other organisations to make sure individual needs outside the scope of our work are met.
BLAST has conducted over 175 investigations of human rights violations, including those impacting women and girls, religious or ethnic minorities, and children. Investigations and research studies have allowed BLAST lawyers to support ongoing litigation by BLAST and other organisations, and to underpin its advocacy initiatives to address gaps in laws and institutional responses.
BLAST collaborates with concerned government ministries and agencies through providing volunteer support at the Victim Support Centres of the Bangladesh Police, and by contributions to District Legal Aid Offices.
We are active in networks and coalitions focused on increasing access to justice. We are the secretariat for the Rape Law Reform Coalition (RLRC), Citizen’s Initiative against Domestic Violence (CIDV) and the Coalition to Ban Physical and Humiliating Punishment in all Settings (PHP). We are also active in Citizens Platform for the SDGs, Domestic Workers’ Rights Network (DWRN), Human Rights Forum Bangladesh (HRFB) and the Sromik Nirapotta Forum (SNF), the International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net), the Legal Empowerment Network, the South Asia Reproductive Justice and Accountability Initiative (SARJAI), and MUSAWAH.