Printer friendly version

ID: 1139

Type of submission: Oral

Conference track: Practice

Topics: Community Mobilisation and Organising; Creating Enabling Environments

Presenting author: Naila Rizqi Zakiah

Presenting author biography:

Naila Rizqi Zakiah is a Public Defender at LBH Masyarakat providing legal assistance to marginalized groups such as people living with HIV and drug user. Aside from her public defence work, Naila volunteers at Sahabat Anak, teaching street children to read, count, and speak in English.

LBH Masyarakat’s Paralegal Competition: Improving Capacity of People Living with HIV and Drug User Paralegals in Human Rights Advocacy in Indonesia

Naila Rizqi Zakiah

People living with HIV (PLHIV) and drug users in Indonesia are often stigmatized and discriminated. Furthermore, there are still laws and policies which implicitly discriminate PLHIV and criminalize drug use. Against this backdrop, LBH Masyarakat (Community Legal Aid Institute) undertakes community-based legal aid approach for marginalized groups such as PLHIV and drug users. Since 2009, LBH Masyarakat has been empowering PLHIV and drug user communities to take part in legal aid movement by conducting paralegal training.
In December 2014, LBH Masyarakat conducted Paralegal Competition in Jakarta. There are five projects submitted to LBH Masyarakat – one of which was a joint-proposal across community paralegals.
This competition is aimed to encourage and improve paralegal’s capacity to enhance their contribution in raising human rights awareness within their community and take strategic actions in erasing stigma. The paralegal had to submit proposal to implement projects that will better protect or improve human rights conditions of their community. There were two winners who had the opportunity to implement their projects funded by Levi Strauss Foundation via LBH Masyarakat. One project was providing legal training for drug user and the other was documenting the work and the struggle of paralegals through a short movie. The legal training project was conducted in May 2015 and there were ten drug users trained. Meanwhile, the short movie is used as a campaign tool for drug user community to showcase the lessons learned by paralegals when doing advocacy.
Through this competition, drug user paralegals learned how to manage small project and cooperate with other parties such as donors and government agencies. This competition has developed and improved their leadership capacity, organizational skills, and their self-esteem all of which are important for their human rights and legal aid work to tackle stigma and discrimination.