Equality PLE: What works well?
Lessons from the UK, Europe and the world
This excellent guide provides readers with news of equality public legal education projects from around the world. Each of the thirteen projects showcases one or more of the four stages of the good practice cycle. The examples also reflect projects that have successfully benefited the community as well as having made best use of resources.
A brief outline of each of these inspiring international projects is below. Read the guide for more details.
Four stages of the good practice cycle
Good practice in identifying the focus of your project
Good practice in planning your project
Good practice in delivering your project
Good practice in monitoring and evaluating your project.
International examples of good practice
Europride in Sweden
Swedish local anti-discrimination agencies carried out a survey during Europride 2008 to find out where people felt they were most likely to suffer discrimination and who they would turn to for support. This provided them with the information they needed to plan new projects.
Legal tools for citizens empowerment project in Africa
The project focuses on helping rural communities defend their land rights. To enable local people to participate in and influence discussions they designed capacity-building tools to build confidence, provide information on rights and procedures and improve the local community’s ability to navigate legal procedures.
Sisterhood is Global in Jordan
This project is designed to combat underage marriage in Jordan and uses a range of activities to reach different target groups including those who manage Islamic family law. Some high-ranking judges have now pledged their support for the campaign.
Against racism in Europe through sport (ARIES)
Through ARIES, young people from Italy, Romania and Bulgaria took part in foreign exchanges at sports events. The tournaments were followed by seminars in which EU documents, strategies and legislation to tackle racial discrimination were explored. Information was provided in different languages making the legislation easier to use and relevant.
Harare legal projects centre in Zimbabwe
People from rural Zimbabwe are famed for their ability to express their ideas and knowledge through songs and drama. The legal projects centre therefore trained advice volunteers to educate local communities about the law using this popular method of disseminating information.
Equal opportunities trips in the Netherlands
This project designed cycle routes and walks in Amsterdam to illustrate the diversity of the city. The trips outlined in a booklet cover visits to locations associated with equal opportunities, such as the monument to commemorate the abolition of slavery. The project is an example of using existing resources in a creative and entertaining way.
Equality and anti-discrimination ombudsman in Norway
The Ombudsman publicise their seminars on anti-discrimination law through a mixture of print and electronic media to meet the needs of particular target groups.
To reach as many people as possible Amnesty International has developed a series of different Facebook sites to promote their work. The UK site offers website banners on blogs and the opportunity for visitors to become online advocates of Amnesty’s work.
Latin America legal defence and educational fund (LALDEF) in New Jersey, USA
LALDEF provides education on legal rights and responsibilities to low-income Latino immigrants in New Jersey. They hold public events and distribute handouts, such as a Spanish-language community resource handbook and a ‘Protect your rights’ booklet to reach their target group. They also use local bilingual community volunteers to engage with the local community.
Nawafeth youth forum in Palestine
This project uses social theatre to help young people build confidence and skills – to give them the legal capability to fight for their rights. The training in social theatre was designed to encourage youth empowerment and enable young people to lead similar projects in their own communities.
Rehabilitation assistance committee in Bangladesh
The Committee’s programme focuses on empowering poor people in rural Bangladesh through education on human rights and the law. Courses aim to improve understanding of how the judicial system works and how best to secure help. Top participants are selected to form Law Implementation Committees to act as community watchdogs, often providing mediation services, advice on accessing legal resources and awareness raising.
Street law in Israel
Law students from the local university held a weekly workshop on law and justice for at-risk youth. Working together with other agencies, they aim to empower through developing knowledge, self-esteem and confidence. A mock trial written and acted by participants is held each year. Progress is reviewed by the trainers upon completion of the course.
Disability law service in the UK
This project on discrimination in employment for people with learning difficulties illustrates how to measure increased legal capability. They achieved this by checking over five sessions what was actually achieved against the original session objectives and then considered what worked well, and what could be improved upon in the next session. They used discussion and a simple feedback form to find out what each participant had learned.
LGBT Youth Scotland
LGBT Youth Scotland is researching best practice in challenging homophobia in education in the European Union. To share their findings, they are producing a user-friendly toolkit to help anyone to explore how partnerships between education departments, ministries or NGOs can tackle homophobia in schools.
Good practice in the UK
The second part of the guide focuses on how to develop legal capability using examples from the UK’s 2010 ‘Progress towards equality: Reaching out to communities’ project. The guide highlights the successful techniques agencies used to help increase the legal capability of their target audience.
You can also read more about the equality PLE projects here.
The guide also provides a summary of lessons learned:
- Build on what’s been done before
- Low cast solutions can work
- Partnership working
- Working in groups
- Integrate evaluation into the project
- Long lasting learning can take time
- Put the target audience at the centre of everything.
The guide is designed to complement two other resources produced as part of the ‘Progress towards equality: Reaching out to communities’ project (see links to other websites above):
- How to do equality PLE and
- What did you achieve? Tools for collecting information
The guide was funded by the European Commission and the Equality and Human Rights Commission European Union Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity – PROGRESS 2007 – 2013.