02 / 1993
FORJA (Institute of Legal Education for Action), was officially created in 1991 in Santiago, Chile, as a result of 5 year of work in the fields of research, training and litigation geared towards the disadvantaged groups of the population. Indeed since 1987, in the frame of the Popular Legal Programme of the "El Canelo de Nos" Centre, an interdisciplinary team of lawyers, teachers, social workers and journalists have been working on the creation of a fairer society in which the poor majority of the population would be able to organise itself in order to exercise its rights. Among them there are urban community organisations, groups of peasants, indians, traditional fisherfolk and women.
FORJA’s original idea was that knowledge and exercise of the law could become a real instrument for the progress of the people, groups and society in general. Legal information and education is the first step towards a necessary awakening so that everyone becomes fully responsible and learns respect for his fellow men. But isolated information, education and action of the few cannot replace concerted effort and action by the various players at national level. The awareness and exercise of one’s rights and obligations reinforces democracy and permits a fair and peaceful cohabitation of the groups.
FORJA’s work is divided into four main categories: research and systematization of the various experiences in order to find a solution to the socio-legal problems of a population or a region; legal education using a participatory methodology; legal and judicial advice; the publication of documents and the organisation of meetings.
In an attempt to resolve (when asked)the conflicts and problems of the people or groups, FORJA acts in two stages: firstly informing them of their rights, for fairness and secondly by devising legal education programmes with them in order to ensure a higher level of participation.
The legal education programmes that have already been tried and tested, and their systematization has enabled the creation of legal education modules which are offered to the users. They can either use them directly or through the intermediary of FORJA counsellors. For 5 years now, FORJA workshops have trained numerous
paralegals, most of whom are now at the head of local organisations or on the new local councils.
With the same aim of developing citizens’ rights and the growth of democracy, FORJA publishes a review "Vida y derecho" (Life and Law). This review is presented to specially targeted readers - which include politicians, trade unionists, social leaders, government and university officials - the legal adaptations, alterations and innovations which take into account the evolution of society and of legal framework.
Original card in French in Dph data base. The ’title/sub-title’ field corresponds to the ’translated title’ field in the French card.
FORJA=Instituto de Formación Jurídica para la Acción
Artigos e dossiês
COX, Sebastián, Le pari de FORJA, CIEDEL in. Histoires de développement, 1992/12 (France)