The Paralegal Program by Asma Jahangir (AGHS) Legal Aid Cell has been steadfast in its commitment to empower citizens from the most underdeveloped and deprived areas of province. This community-based paralegal training program, established almost three decades ago, has been instrumental in creating 16 paralegal centers that serve as beacons of hope for the marginalized communities.

The program’s primary objective is to ensure community participation and provide effective and efficient services. To achieve this, AGHS Legal Aid Cell identifies a proficient household from the most underprivileged residential area and appoints a capable woman from that household as a community-based supervisor. The supervisor is then trained to become a paralegal and report directly to the office. This model of community-based supervision ensures a high level of attendance and engagement from the community and eliminates any deterrent factors that might affect the center’s efficacy and efficiency.

The training sessions organized by AGHS Legal Aid Cell cover various topics, including fundamental freedoms, property rights, matrimonial safeguards, national identity card importance, election participation, and legal protections for common matters. AGHS High Court Advocates provide trainings on all relevant legal rights, with a special focus on women, children, and minority rights/religious tolerance. Each year, 120 carefully selected candidates (90 women and 30 men) undergo rigorous six-day training to become certified paralegals.

Since the program’s inception in 1989, hundreds and thousands of beneficiaries have been helped. In 2022, the program collectively assisted 44,251 beneficiaries, with 7,157 direct and 37,094 indirect beneficiaries. The paralegal trainees provide invaluable insight into the ground realities of the status of women in the local community.

The program also empowers women to become effective members of civil society, and this empowerment is essential to achieving universal progress in women’s rights. By understanding the struggles of women from all social and economic classes, the program provides a strong foundation for the community’s progress. Miss Rahat Gul, AGHS Legal Aid Cell’s field coordinator, conducts frequent visits to the centers to monitor the work of the community supervisors and better connect with the community and its issues.

Overall, the Paralegal Program by Asma Jahangir (AGHS) Legal Aid Cell is a crucial initiative that has been instrumental in transforming the lives of thousands of men and women by giving them the skills needed to develop their professional lives and help others in their communities along the way.

AGHS Paralegal Community Centers