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Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) is a national legal aid and human rights organization, established in 1986. Initially focused on providing free legal services to the disenfranchised in Dhaka City, its aims and activities have developed over twenty years to encompass investigation, advocacy, media campaigning, documentation, training and action research in addition to its core activities of legal services (including legal aid, mediation and public interest litigation).

Goal: To establish the rule of law based on the principles of equality, democracy, human rights, justice and gender equity.

Strategies: ASK seeks to promote and protect human rights through 17 Units which promote human rights awareness; offer legal aid for mediation, litigation and public interest litigation; investigate and document human rights violations; conduct research into the human rights situation and advocate for law and policy reform to protect human rights criteria; and disseminate information through the media and its own publications. It also offers counseling for victims of human rights violations.

Approach: ASK has no political affiliations and takes a non-partisan approach to its activities, which aim to contribute to establishing the rule of law based on principles of democracy, human rights, justice and equality.

Resources: While primarily supported with funds from several donor organizations, ASK also raises its own funds through training, sale of its publications and services, as well as through replication of its programmes by or through partner non-government organizations and government agencies.

Regional Activities: ASK is an active member of several regional or international human rights forum, in particular the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum-Asia), the Asia Pacific Forum for Women, Law and Development (APWLD), the International Women’s Rights Action Watch-Asia Pacific (IWRAW-AP), the South Asia Forum for Human Rights (SAFHR), and Women Living under Muslim Laws (WLUML)

International Activities: ASK has special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UNECOSOC) (since July 31, 1998) and engages in advocacy with UN agencies, treaty monitoring bodies, and special procedures, on issues of concern.

Legal Status: ASK was registered as a society with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms, under the Societies Registration Act 1860 on September 20, 1986. It also registered with the NGO Affairs Bureau, under the Foreign Donations (Voluntary Contributions) Regulation Ordinance, 1978 on June 28, 1993. Europe Aid Potential Applicants Database Online Registration(PANDOR) ID BD-2008-DNJ-0201660464.

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