Mediation and Rapid Response Unit provides legal services to the vulnerable and marginalised, in particular women, children and workers, as well as victims of violence by state agencies. Started in 2002, the Unit has been providing legal advice, undertakes mediation and supplementary support services, such as emergency temporary shelter and psycho-social help. It also responds to incident of violence by taking steps to rescue victims and also by sending urgent communications to the concerned authorities to take prompt actions for redress.
This unit provides legal services through legal advice, mediation and rapid response.
ASK provides free legal advice to any person who approaches to ASK, either in person at its office or in legal clinics located across Dhaka city, or by phone or email. If the person falls within the criteria for receiving legal representation, ASK proceeds to provide further support, and alternatively advises that a lawyer can be engaged by the person concerned. ASK fieldworkers accompany clients to police stations, the Marriage Register’s (Kazi’s) offices or in the Hindu marriage registers office, Hospitals, and to the courts when needed.
ASK also intervenes in certain cases on its own based on information published in the newspapers or received any news from any other institutions.
ASK emphasises on dispute resolution prior to litigation through mediation process in all compoundable complaints, such as non-payment of dower-money, maintenance, child maintenance and wages. Child custody, desertion by husband, divorce, polygamy, mal adjustment between husband and wife etc. are also the subject matters of mediation.
After registering the client’s complaint, it notifies the other party in writing of the complaint and calls them for mediation. On receiving a response, it arranges one or more mediation hearings at which the staff lawyer, the complainant and the opposite party discuss the dispute. If no response is received to the written notice, the ASK field worker will make a personal visit to the other party to explain the matter and request them to take part in the mediation.
When a settlement is reached, ASK continues to liaise with the client for six months to monitor and follow up on the settlement.
- Rapid Response
In emergency cases ASK’s Rapid Response mechanism enables it to respond to human rights violation cases reported in the dailies or referred by individuals and organisations through interventions with the help of concerned authorities.
This unit has initiated an internship program in 2010. Under this program students from different universities of Bangladesh & abroad can join with the activities of ASK as an Intern. Therefore, when an intern engages herself/himself with ASK voluntarily for a minimum period of at least two months, ASK provides them an honour certificate for their services.
ASK provides legal service at its main Lalmatia office as well as in legal clinics located across Dhaka City. The addresses of its legal clinics are –
237 West Goran, Dhaka
Time: Every Sunday 2:00 to 5:00pm
- Johnson Road
54, Johnson Road, Dhaka
Time: Every Monday 2:00 to 5:00pm
Beri Badh, Bhanga Masjid, Road-2, Mohammadpur
Time: Every Wednesday 2:00 to 5:00pm
- Department of Women Affair’s Safe Home at Gazipur for Women and Children
- Victim Support Centre
Kazi Nazrul Islam Ave, Tejgaon, Dhaka
Time: Every Thursday 2:00 to 5:00pm