Theatre for Justice

We work extensively with formal and informal legal structures and people either in contact with legal or penal institutions or in need of help exercising their rights, to improve Access to Justice in specific contexts and protect human rights.

What do people do when something goes wrong? How is ‘crime’ understood and handled in communities who lack access to legal services? How do people handle serious disputes in the absence of a neutral arbitrator? We all need a basic understanding of the laws designed to protect us, and a knowledge of justice principles that enable us to claim our rights – especially to equality and fairness.

Building legal knowledge amongst populations who have limited access to legal services, who rely upon informal legal structures, or who have to represent themselves in legal processes, is fundamental to improving access to justice in general.  Communication is often overlooked or tacked on in development programming – Arts for Action, and partner The Governance and Justice Group, believe in quality communication, education and empowerment as being integral to improving rule of law. What we offer is an approach that engages target populations with genuinely interactive mechanisms through which to build legal knowledge and learn to apply this in practice to improve their situation. We work together with communities to identify barriers to positive change and craft communication and empowerment strategies together. We work to bridge gaps between decision makers, services providers and the communities they serve.
Access to Justice programming that does not invest in communication and outreach will fail to affect change amongst the people it wishes to reach.

Examples of theatre for justice work

• Access to Justice Programme South Sudan
• Social Justice in Myanmar
• Paralegals in Malawi
• Paralegals in Kenya
• Paralegals in Bangladesh
• Restorative Justice in Bangladesh
• Rehabilitation in Bangladesh

The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., A Testament of Hope

Other Programmes Include:

Munthu satola kanthu ndi chala chimodzi, ”a person does not lift anything with one finger”;

o Theatre for conflict resolution and peace
o Theatre for building trust & relations
o Theatre for women’s rights
o Theatre for child rights
o Theatre for HIV & AIDS prevention
o Theatre for Malaria prevention
o Theatre for hygiene and sanitation
o Theatre for environmental health
o Community Arts Club facilitating change

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