Services by Dastageer Legal Aid Center:
To ensure the provision of better free legal services to the disadvantaged, Dastageer Legal Aid Centers has been established in thirteen targeted districts (Lahore, Faisalabad, Nankanasahib, Muzaffargarh, Khanewal, Sialkot, Swat, Karachi, Jacobabad, Multan, Sahiwal, Hyderabad and Quetta) across Pakistan. These Legal Aid Centers will provide friendly, accessible and free of cost assistance to the poor and vulnerable community groups to claim their legal rights. Services offered by Dastageer Legal Aid Center (DLAC) would include, among others, face-to-face and telephonic counseling, referral services, and legal assistance to clients, facilitating clients to access law enforcement agencies and to make court appearances in relation to the cases filed. In this regard, program activities include but are not restricted to the following:
Legal Advice & Assistance: The centre provides telephone callers and walk-in victim-clients with free legal advice, psychosocial support, assistance in lodging FIR, sending letter to institutions on behalf of clients in case of violation of their rights by that institution, and facilitation in out of court settlement. Under especially difficult circumstances, financial assistance to cover court expenses are also offered to needy victims. Through legal experts mediation services are also provided to phone callers.
The clients may approach the center through the following two mechanisms:
Psychosocial Support: Counseling by Legal Aid Center staff (Counselor/Operator) will be provided to beneficiaries who approach the Legal Aid Centers via Helpline or Walk-in.
Legal Aid (Court Cases): Legal Representation provided by legal aid lawyers to prepare their case and represent them in court. Given that this is a resource-intensive sub-component, the targeting mechanism is being narrowed to the following vulnerable persons from low income groups:
Referral services: The beneficiary-clients or the phone-callers will also be referred to other supportive services, such as emergency shelters for women, rehabilitation programs, and counselling services, etc., as per the needs. Centre will also facilitate the clients to identify and approach the police officers, and medical practitioners for obtaining medical legal report (MLR) in order to facilitate the filing of complaints and registration of FIR.
Dastageer Legal Aid Helpline Call 0800-58888:
24/7 Toll-Free Helpline
The first point of interaction for the clients/any other person is the telephone (telephone/ mobile phone). In 13 targeted districts, Dastageer Legal Aid Center established District level helplines for timely response to the clients/ victims/any other person who is in need of legal help. This Legal Aid Helpline provides awareness on legal rights as well as legal advice / counseling through operators/Counselors in each target district. This helpline is mainly beneficial for women, disabled and other vulnerable who are not able or allowed to go out of their homes, or those who can not understand justice system due to lack of education, or for those who can’t afford lawyers’ fees for legal advice, or for those who are fearful of the justice system.
The procedure is very simple; if anyone wants to know the justice procedures or needs counseling support or wants to take legal advice or wants support in filing court cases, they just have to dial Legal Helpline exclusive number 0800-588 88. The legal aid center will ensure that records of all calls are maintained as per the requirements of the project. Legal aid center will maintain referral directory and relevant reference material for legal aid center staff and lawyers.