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THE STREET LAW PROJECT

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Workshop Taylors

Taylor’s University Law Students

by Joti Kohli

The “Street Law Project” is an initiative of Taylor’s University, Law School in collaboration with sister organisations, VoC and Yayasan Chow Kit (YCK).

As part of Taylor’s Law School’s community initiative, the project aims to take legal education to the streets, addressing the need of the communities in Chow Kit and making them aware of their legal rights.  The law students will have the opportunity to experience law in action and gain important insights on justice, especially for children.

To kick-start this project an interactive workshop was held on September 17 at Taylor’s with 47 students in attendance.  The workshop aimed to educate the legal aid volunteer students on the issues faced by the community in the Chow Kit area and to prepare them for the assignment ahead.

After an introduction to VoC and YCK, Ananti Rajasingam and Katrina Arokiam from YCK facilitated the workshop and started with an overview of the Chow Kit area.  The area features a large Malay community, and more recently a small number of Indonesian communities. It has a daily wet market known as Bazaar Baru Chow Kit which is definitely the largest wet market & a tourist attraction in Kuala Lumpur.  It also features a night market known as Bundle Chow Kit along Lorong Haji Taib, which is known for the sale of used clothing and accessories.  To the keen eye, Chow Kit is also known for illicit activities like, drug use and sex work. There are brothels available and a large number of transgender who provide sex services to customers.  Chow Kit is also host to a large number of homeless, children and adults.

The students were then divided into 4 focus groups and provided with a case study.  These were actual cases handled by YCK and they were given a list of ideas on how to handle the cases via legal and non-legal means.  This was followed by presentations from each group and a discussion.  It was highlighted that in determining the best interest of the child, each minute factor must be carefully considered and that lawyers should be cognizant of non-legal ways of assisting a child.

Students Presenting

Students presenting to the whole group

Students Presenting 2

Students presenting to the whole group

The second Street Law session was conducted in YCK with a more detailed briefing of the issues the students will be dealing with in Chow Kit.  They got to meet the children in two of YCK’s centres, Pusat Aktiviti Kanak-Kanakis for younger children between the ages of 7-12 and KL Crash Pad for children between 13-18 years old.

Group Photo

Pusat Aktiviti Kanak-Kanak

In the first centre the children were thrilled to see all the law students and warmed up with them immediately.  Each one of them shook hands and chatted with the students and were overjoyed when they shared some snacks and drinks with them.  After a group photo, it was time to see the whole centre and venture out to the streets.

Katrina

Katrina answering question during the Chow Kit streets tour

Ananti Raj and Katrina Arokiam from YCK took the law students to a tour of the streets answering questions along the way.  This session ended at the KL Crash Pad and a briefing on the activities conducted in this centre.  The Street Law sessions will start on November 19 in YCK and will run on a fortnightly basis.

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