The recent unprecedented rains in Pakistan have caused widespread flooding and devastation.
Millions, including women, children, and the elderly, have become shelterless, living in poverty and misery. They have lost their crops, cattle, and livelihoods, and there is a real threat of starvation, malnutrition, and the spread of disease with approximately 33 million people displaced.
At such a critical time in Pakistan, many organisations are coming forward to mobilise support for communities displaced by the monsoon flooding in the country.
The Sindh Legal Advisory Call Centre (SLACC), through its toll-free number 0800-70806 as a free tele-legal advisory service, is providing legal advice and referral information to callers by connecting them to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and other government resources for rapid relief.
SLACC was established by the Legal Aid Society (LAS) in 2014 and embarked on a public-private partnership in 2018 with the Government of Sindh through its Law Department.
The government of Sindh has supported SLACC under the Legal Empowerment of People Program in Sindh (LEPPS) to provide free legal advice and information to empower poor, disempowered and marginalised people of Pakistan.
The SLACC is staffed by Sindh High Court enrolled advocates from 8:30 am
to 5:30 pm, five days a week, and has an after-hours call recording service. Till now, the SLACC has received over 360,000 calls with over 157,000 registered queries from 450 cities, towns, and villages all over Pakistan.
Joining hands to support flood victims, SLACC’s intervention attempts to leverage its accessibility as a service and its existing referral pathways to provide relief to affected households beyond the scope of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), Sindh’s helpline. This is being done through “referrals” to the relevant authorities.
While the PDMA helpline is available to flood victims, the affected may require additional support for relevant referral mechanisms.
For this purpose, lawyers at SLACC have been provided with a referral sheet containing the numbers of the government relief organisations such as PDMA, Pak Army/Frontier Constabulary, Rescue 1122, Sindh Police, District Administration offices, and private NGOs distributing relief goods.