Today, access to protection mechanisms of human rights is also provided by the non-governmental sector: human rights protection organizations, legal consulting at public organizations, Pro bono lawyers, voluntarily engaged in the practice. It shows the fact that there is a demand for access to instruments for defending the human rights, which greatly exceeds the service, which the state provides.
Activities of the Human Rights Fund “Progress” are aimed at forming conscious, law informed and active civil society through advocacy.
During the time of work of the Centre of Legal information and Consultation “Mukachevo Human Rights Center”, which is a subdivision of the Fund “Progress”, we summarize that the mechanism of legal empowerment of socially disadvantaged groups includes not only to provide free primary and secondary legal aid, but also to support of citizens in public institutions.
People, who apply to us, often are not familiar with the large part of information, special terms or special legislation. They need an explanation of the “letter” of the law and recommendations for the institutions to which they could apply. Moreover, they are often afraid and do not want to apply to state institutions to solve their problems.
Human Rights Fund “Progress”:
– Provides free legal aid;
– Unites lawyers and attorneys of the centers, organizations and Pro bono lawyers into a unified network that provide the legal aid;
– Implements quality standards for legal aid;
– Conducts advocacy campaigns against discrimination on any grounds;
– Uses mediation as pre-trial way of solving conflicts;
Cultural and Legal Education for the people
The formation of civil society is clearly correlated with increasing of the legal culture of people. The main goal of legal education is to form a conscious citizen, conscious of their rights, opportunities and responsibilities.
The goal of our team is not only to provide legal assistance, as advocates or lawyers, but also to encourage people to raise their level of legal awareness to further protect their rights independently.
To create the necessary prerequisites for getting legal knowledge by citizens, enhance their legal capacity, to ensure access to legal information – employees of the Fund with experts conduct seminars and workshops on following topics:
• Human rights: concept, types and mechanisms of protection;
• Access to public information;
• Basics of gender culture;
• Minority rights and protection;
• Social Inclusion of Roma;
• Hate crimes and hate speech;
• Preventing and combating discrimination;
• Reproductive health of Roma girls and women;
• Combating violence and trafficking;
• Social integration of Roma.
The integration of primary and secondary legal aid
Now, with the Regional center of free secondary legal aid, we are introducing a single comprehensive system of legal aid in the Transcarpathian region through the creation of local programs to provide primary legal aid in 10 cities in the region, followed by their integration of secondary legal aid. Providers of legal services within these programs will be merged into a single network, which will also include centers of free secondary legal aid, lawyers, who are involved in terms of Pro bono, representatives of local authorities, volunteers, lawyers, who train to obtain the right to advocacy, and media representatives from each city and district, where the municipal target program will be implemented.