Sotheara Chhim, Executive Director of the Cambodian Transcultural Psychosocial Organization Cambodia (right), consults with visitors from Burma representing the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners and Social Action for Women.

Legal aid lawyers from Burma participate in a week-long study tour in Cambodia, including site visits to land conflicts, prison interviews with legal aid clients, and meetings with several public interest law firms and legal aid centers.

Burma delegate U Hla Myat addresses the March conference about the work of Colours Rainbow in Yangon.

January 2014
EWMI and Partners Asia Support Legal Aid Initiatives in Burma

In Burma, the process of rule of law development involves skill-building by legal professionals, heightened awareness by citizens of rights and responsibilities, and the delivery of legal services to those in need of representation and advice.  EWMI, with its colleagues from Partners Asia, provide assistance toward these ends through its Donor-Advised Fund, benefiting individual lawyers, rural paralegals, and civil society groups representing communities as they navigate the significant changes underway in Burma. 

In 2013, the Oak Foundation Human Rights Programme selected Partners Asia and EWMI to carry out its new Donor-Advised Fund in Burma, with the aim of supporting the government’s declared commitment to the development of the rule of law as the nation begins its transition to democracy.  The three-year, $2,000,000 project provides grants to local organizations in Burma, while providing technical assistance to these groups as they develop legal aid strategies and build up their individual organizational capacity.

EWMI is pleased to work with its new counterparts from Partners Asia, whose founders have decades of experience working on community development and human rights in Burma and along its borders, and with the Oak Foundation who have addressed social concerns and human rights worldwide for thirty years.  EWMI supports the project in two primary areas:  expertise on assisting the development of legal aid and public interest law programs, and guidance in carrying out grants programs in the justice sector.  Partners Asia and EWMI are committed to a locally-driven project, with Burmese nationals serving as the project director and other full time project staff.  Partners Asia, EWMI, and the Oak Foundation regularly review proposals for funding, which can be submitted to:  applications@partnersasia.org.