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In China, volunteer lawyers helping the poor


Beijing : In a drive worth emulating by lawyers in other parts of the world, volunteer lawyers and law students have come forward in China to offer assistance to people living in poor regions of the country.

Within three years, these volunteers have helped local governments resolve nearly 4,000 cases, China Daily reported.

According to Yue Xuanyi, director general of the China Legal Aid Foundation, the campaign’s organiser, over the past three years, nearly 800 lawyers and university students visited about 300 counties lacking legal resources in underprivileged areas,

They volunteered their services for nearly one million locals, Yue added.

Their efforts are part of the “one-plus-one” China Legal Assistance Volunteering Action Campaign being conducted since 2009, it was revealed at a conference on the campaign held Sunday.

The campaign intends to extend the network of legal assistance to the entire country. So far, it has covered 19 provincial regions including Tibet, Xinjiang, Qinghai, Ningxia and Gansu, Xinhua reported.

Yue said these volunteers handled over 23,000 legal assistance cases, held more than 2,000 legal lectures and provided nearly 10 million consultations.

It won praise from the locals and greatly contributed to the promotion of legal services in west China, said Yue, adding that over 128 carefully-selected lawyers will participate in the 2012 campaign.

According to official statistics, the number of legal assistance cases has reached 2.65 million over the past five years, with an annual increase of about 23 percent, providing legal consultations for about 21 million people, up 12.8 percent annually.