Year of establishment: 1980
Government status: Non-Governmental
Organization Type(s): Legal/Judicial, Women
Countries that this organization works in: Pakistan
Services: Legal, Advocacy, Aid to Victims, Education – Adult or Popular, Urgent Actions, Education – Legal, Aid to Prisoners/Political Prisoners and Counseling, Research
Issues this organization deals with: Labour, Children (Rights of), Equality rights/discrimination, Minorities, Ethnic Groups, Freedom of expression, freedom of speech, opinion, Freedom of the Press / Media, Sexual Orientation (people discriminated against because of), Health, AIDS / HIV, Independence of the Judiciary, International Criminal Court (ICC), Mental Health, Peace, Children, Death Penalty, Right to life, Human Rights (General), Association (freedom of), Freedom of Religion, Health (right to), Women’s Rights, Information (Right to), Legal Assistance (right to), Minority Rights, Police
AGHS Legal Aid Cell is a human rights and legal aid organization operating in Pakistan since 1980. It was the first legal aid organization established in the country. The major focus of the organization has been the rights of women, children and minorities in Pakistan. Over the years, however, the necessity to respond to the demands of a growing civil society and needs of an increasingly marginalized population, the organization expanded its scope of concern to several categories of disadvantaged sectors of the society. It has been an objective of the organization to use legal aid and related initiatives for the promotion, protection and implementation of human rights. Because of the work it has carried out over the past two decades and the initiatives it has pioneered in the field of human rights the organization has been able to establish good relationship within the civil society in Pakistan. AGHS is also an important partner in several human rights and NGO networks at the national, regional and international levels. The experience that the organization has gained, especially in the area of women’s and children’s rights, has enabled it to influence public opinion, policy initiatives, law making and standard setting not only nationally, but also through the regional and international forums.
The AGHS Legal Aid Cell is engaged in the following activities: (1) free legal aid; (2) paralegal education; (3) publication of books and pamphlets on legal awareness; (4) research on child labor, women labor and bonded labor; (5) human rights advocacy (6) monitoring of human rights violations (7) drafting human rights related legislation; women’s shelter (Dastak) in 1990, which is now manage by a trust established by AGHS.