The Closing Workshop of the Project “Legal Aids for Rural Population, phase II”

In the morning of December 5th, 2014, the closing workshop of the project “Legal Aid for Rural Population, phase II” funded by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) was held. The Project was implemented by Agricultural Development Denmark Asia (ADDA) in collaboration with the Vietnamese Lawyers Association in 3 provinces: Điện Biên, Hòa Bình, and Sơn La. The closing workshop took place at La Thanh Hotel, Hanoi.

Anh 1

Mr. Nguyễn Văn Quyền, VLA Chairman had the opening speech

Attending the workshop, there were Mr. Nguyễn Văn Quyền, VLA Chairman; Mrs. Lê Thị Kim Thanh, Vice Chairman; Mr. Trần Đức Long, Deputy General Secretary; Mr. Lê Anh Tuyến, Manager of VLA personal organization, Mrs. Dương Thị Thanh Mai, Project Director, Dr. Harvey Demain, ADDA Advisor; Mrs. Arafa Ayoub Khatib, Country Representative of ADDA office in Vietnam, representatives from Danish Embassy, Ministry of Finance, Foreign Affair, Public Security as well as representatives of Dien Bien People Committee and 3 Provincial Lawyer Associations. 

Mr. Quyen emphasized that VLA is a political-social-professional organization that the Party and Government paid much attention and assigned many important tasks to, which includes legal aid and consulting for the poor especially in remote areas. VLA has good organizational structure from reaching from the Central level to the grass-root level with more than 46,000 members. This is strong point for VLA to implement their activities including legal aid for population particularly in rural and mountainous areas.

Mrs. Dương Thị Thanh Mai read the report on achievements of the project, continuing the success of the 1st phase funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, the second phase has received donor funding for a period of four years from 2011-2014. The project has been implemented in 9 districts across 3 provinces Điện Biên, Hòa Bình, and Sơn La. Legal Consulting Centers who work for the poor and community development were assigned by VLA to conduct the project. Project activities have been highly appreciated by local governments, and local villagers.

Anh 2

The project implemented 40 specific activities under 5 outputs. During 4 year period, the project organized 24 training courses for nearly 900 trainees, training courses for 75 local facilitators who are members of Farmer Union, Women Union, and Youth Union in 75 communes. Furthermore 673 mobile legal aid clinics for about 30,000 villagers have been organized and 9 legal contests were held in 9 districts. 12 workshops on the professional activities of the lawyers and solicitors in each case relating to legal issues such as criminal, civil codes, administration, land law, appeal & denunciation, marriage & family regulation were held; 45 legal clubs at villages in 9 districts were set up and equipped with more than 60 titles of legal books related to their daily lives, legal clinics also were provided for 193 farmer groups; there were 193 meeting between local people and local authorities with nearly 8.000 participants; 1,637 villagers were provided legal consultancies and legal services free of charge; 45,000 leaflets were printed to promulgate LCCs’ activities, besides 3,000 posters on democracy; nearly 30,000 local people participated in mobile legal aid clinics.

The participants of the project have expressed that they have been satisfied with the activities which is a good result. However, the securing the continuation of activities in LCCs is difficult.

Dr. Harvey Demaine, Senior Advisor of ADDA and Mrs. Arafa Ayoub Khatib, Country Representative of ADDA office in Vietnam expressed their gratefulness to VLA and towards local authorities of 3 target provinces who made great efforts in the collaboration with project staffs to complete the project successfully.

Anh 3

Mr. Lương Mai Sao, Vice Chairman of Điện Biên Lawyer Association, on behalf of the implementing Unit gave a speech pointing out the great role of the project. Điện Biên is a poor province with bad infrastructure and low education level . Through mobile legal aid clinics and legal consulting at the offices, leaflet delivery, training course on legal knowledge for village heads, staffs of mass organizations many people have improved their legal knowledge and the approaches were very practical and effective. Many minor disputes were resolved through counseling by local facilitators.

At the workshop participants also had the opportunity to view a video about the project made by and independent evaluation team. Mr. Nguyễn Minh Đức fromthe evaluation team summarized that the project has benefitted ethnic minorities in remote areas.

Mr. Nguyễn Văn Quyền gave the closing speech and highly appreciated the project achievements and stressed the continuing need for legal aid for the poor in remote areas. He also stressed that without enthusiasm, patience and good manpower, the good outputs of the project could not have been achieved. Finally the Chairman expressed his appreciation towards with other domestic and foreign agencies particularly ADDA for assisting VLA to carry out the project successfully./.