Потрібна юридична консультація? Наш юрист надасть її безкоштовно

KyivLEPP-2020 graduates conducted a research on access to justice in remote communities in northern Macedonia

During the Kyiv Legal Empowerment Practical Program, Macedonians came up with the idea of creating a mobile office for paralegal aid that would come to various settlements on a certain day to consult people. To make the services of such an office focused on the legal needs of community residents, the team conducted a survey.

Some settlements in the municipalities of Prilep, Krivogashtan and Dolnen are very far from the cities and do not have good roads, so locals often cannot get the necessary legal assistance. To overcome these barriers to access to justice, the Association for Legal Education and Transparency “LET STATION” STANICA PET has set up a telephone “hotline” for legal aid provision. But some cases cannot be solved by phone alone and require a more careful approach. Therefore, the representatives of the association go to the people, covering hundreds of kilometers a day. Such trips take a lot of effort and time, and seriously reduce the coverage and effectiveness of care.

What to do? The team from Northern Macedonia found the answer to this question when they took a design thinking course at the Kyiv Legal Empowerment Practical Program at the end of 2020, together with teams from Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and Poland.

They decided that multidisciplinary teams that would work in the Mobile Office for Paralegal Aid (MOPA) would advise remote settlements: lawyers, paralegals, psychologists, social counselors. Such an office will be located in a vehicle with the necessary equipment or in offices rented in different villages for a certain day of the week. With the support of its curator from KyivLEPP, Executive Director of the Legal Development Network, Coordinator of the Legally Empowered Community Program Yevhen Poltenko, the team created an action plan to implement its idea: an interprogramme exchange took place, the action plan included a research on the legal needs of residents of remote settlements in Prilep, Krivogashtan and Dolnen municipalities to understand how to make MOPA-services most effective for each community.

Survey in the municipalities of Prilep, Krivogashtan and Dolnen.

KyivLEPP-2020 graduates surveyed 107 men and women of all ages, which is almost 2% of all residents of the municipalities of Prilep, Krivogashtan and Dolnen. Of these, 16 respondents (14%) answered that they know what administrative procedures are conducted by local and central institutions, 35 respondents (32%) answered that they have limited knowledge, and 59 (54%) – that they have no idea about procedures.

Regarding the availability of institutions that people need to turn to to exercise their rights, the residents of the settlements answered as follows: 44 people (40%) – have only a few institutions in their communities, 58 (53%) have to go to the nearest city, and 8 (7%) – all necessary institutions are available.

33 (30%) respondents said that due to the lack of such institutions they often cannot exercise their rights, 58 (53%) said that they had faced such a problem only once and 19 (17%) had never experienced problems with exercising their rights due to lack of institutions.

95 respondents (86%) believe that they need support of a NGO that will provide legal assistance and advice in their communities. 16 (14%) were unsure. Nobody gave a negative answer.

Survey in the municipalities of Prilep, Krivogashtan and Dolnen.

KyivLEPP graduates of Northern Macedonia are gathering teams of lawyers, paralegals, psychologists, social consultants, making schedules for offices in the settlements of 3 regions. Offices will start operating in test mode. All cases will be entered into a national database already used by LET STATION and other organizations. In December, the KyivLEPP team will re-interview local residents to sum up the first results of the MOPA – pilot project.

In an interview with INFO COMPASS, Vesna Shapkoski, coordinator of the team from Northern Macedonia and executive director of the Association of Legal Education and Transparency “LET STATION” STANICA PET, said that annually  at least 500 residents of the three municipalities would receive assistance through the mobile office.

“The idea of colleagues from Northern Macedonia not only brings justice closer to the people. Solving the legal problems of the inhabitants of remote communities is a new opportunity for their cohesion and activation. This survey confirmed people’s request for legal services and allowed to find out on how and where in the community it is convenient for people to get these services. Based on the data obtained, it will be easier for the initiators of the MOPA project to communicate to local and central authorities the need for further support for this decision. After all, the permanence of paralegal offices in communities is one of the key needs of people, which was revealed by this survey. ” – the curator of the team Yevhen Poltenko comments on the results of the survey.

It will be recalled that last year five teams participating in the KyivLEPP program developed projects that could improve access to justice in their countries. The program is implemented by the Ukrainian Access to Justice School of Practice through the cooperation of colleagues from the Ukrainian Legal Aid Foundation, the Coordination Centre for Legal Aid Provision, the Legal Development Network, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, the Legal Club PRAVOKATOR.Kyiv  and the expert and financial support of the Human Rights and Justice Program of the International Renaissance Foundation.

If you have notices an error on the web-site, please, highlight the text and press ctrl-enter.

Have you found your solution? Help others!

Share on social media

Print a poster

Print and place the Network's poster on a notice board in your entrance hall

Become a volunteer

Become a volunteer and assist others in finding problem solutions

Do you need a consultation ?

Online

Ask question and one of the LDN's lawyers will answer it.
Chat's schedule: from 10 to 16
on Mondays - Fridays
(lunch time from 13 to 14)

In an office

Find the nearest consulting room in your city and apply for a consultation.

Join

Support

Inform on error

×