Law & Justice
Our Journey, Vision, and
Commitment to a Better Future
Advancing Justice, Equality,
In 2006, Asif Aqeel, a renowned journalist, and researcher, founded a group of Christians dedicated to serving marginalized communities through capacity building and education. This group was later registered as the Center for Law & Justice (CLJ) in 2011. The CLJ conducted research and gained experience in addressing social exclusion, poverty, marginality, and discrimination, with a particular focus on the untouchability and persecution faced by Christians and other minorities. Until 2015, the CLJ provided pro bono legal and financial assistance in various cases to religious minorities across Pakistan. However, after a period of reduced effectiveness, Mary James Gill revitalized the organization in 2017 and took forward the agenda of the CLJ.
The CLJ now strives to build a collective understanding of inalienable human rights and ensure free access to justice at the grassroots level through sustainable and self-perpetuating models. The CLJ has evolved into a research-based policy, advocacy, and development organization. Today, it concentrates on addressing discrimination based on gender, caste, and religion. Its work has been published in many International and National media outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, AFP, DW, BBC Urdu, Independent Urdu, and Urdu News. A more detailed work was recently published in Al-Jazeera.
We envision a Pakistan where every individual, regardless of their background or social status, is treated with dignity, respect, and equality. We aim to achieve Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s egalitarian dream by aligning our efforts with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan.
Who We Are
The Center for Law and Justice is a minority women led organization, dedicated to unceasingly advocating for the rights of underprivileged and marginalized communities. Through rigorous research, strategic litigation, and unwavering advocacy, we strive to secure the fundamental human rights of those often left on the fringes of society. Our tireless efforts are driven by a vision for a Pakistan where every citizen can bask in the warmth of dignity and stand tall in the embrace of equality. Join us in this noble pursuit as we work relentlessly to create a brighter future for all.
- Decent Work and Labor Rights:
CLJ focuses on improving the working conditions, rights, and dignity of sanitation workers, advocating for fair labor practices, safety protocols, workers’ rights, and empowerment through capacity-building workshops and policy advocacy.
- Gender Equality and Women Empowerment:
CLJ works towards achieving gender equality, addressing issues of discrimination and violence against women, promoting women’s rights, and empowering minority women and girls through consultations, policy dialogues, and initiatives for economic growth and prosperity.
- Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH):
CLJ advocates for access to clean water, sanitation facilities, and hygiene practices, working towards improved WASH services for marginalized communities, raising awareness, and influencing policies in collaboration with stakeholders.
- Environmental Justice and Climate Change:
CLJ focuses on environmental justice, advocating for policies and practices that mitigate the impacts of climate change on vulnerable communities, ensuring their protection from environmental hazards, and promoting sustainable development.
- Minority/Dalit Rights and Social Inclusion:
CLJ is dedicated to protecting and advocating for the rights of poor religious minorities who come from Dalit backgrounds, challenging discriminatory recruitment policies, addressing systemic discrimination, promoting equal citizenship rights, and fostering social inclusion.
- Research and Publications:
CLJ conducts in-depth research studies, documents stories and experiences of marginalized communities, and publishes reports that contribute to the knowledge base, raise awareness, and influence policy and practice in areas such as sanitation, non-Muslim women and girls, religious minorities, and urban minority neighborhoods.
- Community Engagement and Advocacy:
CLJ engages with communities, stakeholders, policymakers, and legislators through community and stakeholder engagement activities, advocacy campaigns, dialogue, and collaboration to amplify voices, promote understanding, and advocate for policy changes.
Our dedicated team consists of skilled lawyers, researchers, and advocates who share a passion for social justice and equality. Together, we work tirelessly to challenge injustices, influence policy, and empower marginalized communities throughout Pakistan.
Mary James Gill
Rana Muhammad Akmal Khan
Senior Program Officer
Jessica Miriam Bakhsi
Brian Isaac Asaph
Support Our Work
At the Center for Law & Justice (CLJ), we are dedicated to protecting the rights and interests of disadvantaged religious communities, women, and labor rights. We work relentlessly to promote dignity, gender justice, participation, collaboration, equality, sustainability, and climate justice.