Islamabad, July19th, 2021: Bytes For All (B4A), has launched the application ‘Advolocate’ on 19th July, 2021, in an event held in Islamabad. The Chief Guest for the launch event was Honorable Justice Retired Ali Nawaz Chowhan. The event was attended by law experts, from different cities, including Advocate Farid Hussain Kaif, Advocate Shafqat Munir Malik, Advocate Hifza Bukhari, Advocate Junaid Akhtar Chohan and Advocate Raja Shahid Zafar. The application is potentially a breakthrough innovation for marginalized groups like citizen journalists, activists, human rights defenders and women as it will bridge gaps between the civil society and lawyers all across South Asia and enable CSOs and individual citizen activists to receive pro-bono, paid and on-demand legal aid/services to ensure speedy justice in human rights cases/violations.
Justice Retired Ali Nawaz Chowhan inaugurated the application with a simple click which was followed by his honorable remarks. He stated that it’s a wonderful innovation as there was a need of an online solution to access legal fraternities. He asserted that vulnerable societies such as those of Kalash and Tharparkar are still facing incidents of forced marriages and forced conversion. Journalists are also vulnerable as they are symbols of freedom of expression. Education and inculcation for tolerance for freedom of expression is solution to their problems. He stressed upon the importance of this mechanism, i.e. Advolocate application, that gives these marginalized communities a platform to reach out for help.
The president of Islamabad district bar, Advocate Fareed Hussain Kaif expressed joy upon digital improvement in the justice sector driven further by Bytes For All (B4A), despite the slow progress of the government in this regard. He further added that in a world where the judicial system is under resourced and where our Judges are deprived of basic facilities it is an absolute delight to see these technological developments.
According to the annual report on the Status of Human Rights Defenders 2018 by B4A there were at least 29 cases documented pertaining to the violations of the rights of human rights defenders. Majority cases were against men human rights defenders, 65.5%, followed by women human rights defenders, 31%, and 7% transgender human rights defenders. Apart from child marriages and forced conversions there are several other human rights violations for which justice is never served. Advolocate is created in order to make it possible for these communities to get in touch with legal bodies that can provide justice.
The application Advolocate is available for download on Android and iOS, the links are given below.