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Celebrating the Scaling up of Activating Village Courts in Bangladesh Project

Local Government Division with the assistance of Activating Village Courts in Bangladesh (AVCB) Phase II Project has organized the event Scaling up of Activating Village Courts in Bangladesh Project on April 9, 2017 in Dhaka. The aim of the event was to acknowledge the achievements treasured in Pilot phase, share reflections, experience and learning of the AVCB Project with a view to encouraging all relevant stakeholders in making the AVCB Phase II successful.

Following successful implementation of the Pilot Phase (2009 – 2015), in 351 unions covering 14 districts Local Government Division has scale-up the project in 1,080 unions covering 128 upazillas of 27 districts around 8 administrative divisions for making village courts further widely functional with increased efficiency with support from European Union (EU) and UNDP Bangladesh.

The Celebration was graced by the participation of Mr Abdul Malek, Secretary, LGD as the Chief Guest while Mr Mario Ronconi, Minister-Counsellor, Head of Cooperation, Head of Unit, European Union Delegation to Bangladesh, and Mr Sudipto Mukerjee, Country Director, UNDP Bangladesh as Special Guests. Mr Iqramul Haque, Additional Secretary, Local Government Division and National Project Director, AVCB Phase II Project chaired the event. Around 180 participants from all relevant government and non-government stakeholders from AVCB Pilot and AVCB Phase II areas, government officials from central, division and district administration, representatives from local government institution- mostly UPs, NGO Officials, media professionals and the community people who were directly benefited by village courts steered by AVCB Project.

In his welcome speech Sarder M. Asaduzzaman, National Project Coordinator, AVCB Phase II Project said, “the project will not only work to convey the Village Courts services to the project areas but also try to support entire country”. Dr Syeda Naushin Parnini, Senior Assistant Secretary (UP-2), LGD presented the transition of AVCB Project- from Pilot to Phase II. In her presentation, she shared the basic features of the AVCB Project, linkage with SDGs and 7th Five Year Plan, cooperation and collaboration had among EU, UNDP and LGD implementing the project during 2009-2015.

Mr Sudipto Mukerjee, Country Director, UNDP Bangladesh in his speech said, “Bangladesh Government has brought several reforms in the justice system which reduces time, cost and number of visits to the court which are also reflected in the Village Courts system and eventually ensure access to justice”. He also thanked EU citizens for their kind contribution for securing access to justice to common citizens of Bangladesh, and congratulated the Activating Village Courts in Bangladesh Project entering in to the Phase II.

Mr Mario Ronconi, Minister-Counsellor, Head of Unit, Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation to Bangladesh said, “European Union has a higher expectation to implement the AVCB Phase II project which will be established in line with the mainstream justice system and eventually it will be sustainable.” Mario added, “Now, European Union is interested in extended the activation of Village Courts as well as local justice mechanism to the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) with the coordination and support from LGD and MoCHTA. European Union believes that along with Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) system, Village Court services will support to ensure socio-economic development of the people in CHT region.”

Chief Guest of the event Mr. Abdul Malek, Secretary, LGD said, “AVCB Phase II is adopted based on the Village Courts Act 2013. Cumulatively, through pilot and II Phase 1,431 unions of Bangladesh is being supported, which is only one third of the total number of unions. Therefore, government has taken initiatives to establish ejlash, distribution of VC forms and registers throughout the country.” He shared, “The village court provides dispute resolution services to the rural poor at their doorsteps. Hence, mass awareness is needed to stop people going to thana for filing cases which falls under the jurisdiction of village courts”.

After screening a TV spot on Village Courts process the guests along with the participants had an opportunity to listen to two real stories by two of the beneficiaries from community took part in the Celebration. Participants also shared their experiences, remarks and suggestions during an open discussion session. Mr Iqramul Haque, Chair of the session, Additional Secretary, LGD and National Project Director, AVCB II Project thanked the participants. For making village courts services effective he suggested to coordinate with and motivate local NGOs in the monthly NGO coordination meeting at district and upazilla level and requested local administration to cooperate in the monitoring of Village Courts performance.

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Copyright © 2010 Activating Village Courts in Bangladesh Project All rights reserved.
Concept & Design by Communication wing & Village Courts IT.

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