In both developing and mature democracies, many people lack the basic legal knowledge, civic engagement skills, and confidence needed to effectively participate in civic life. To build and maintain a strong democratic society, countries and communities must invest in the citizens who will uphold and safeguard the norms, ideals, and values of democracy.
Often, it is these everyday citizens that are the most important and yet least served constituency for the development of a healthy democratic society. To bridge this gap, Street Law collaborates with law schools, NGOs, and government agencies around the globe to build public legal education programs, train educators, and develop teaching materials. Our international programs take a grassroots approach to change, empowering program participants with essential civic skills and knowledge, building their practical ability to advocate for themselves and others, and enhancing the rule of law.
Street Law’s international programs are based around three core values:
- Methodology matters: Our programs and curricula utilize interactive, participatory, and learner-centered teaching methods. For nearly 50 years, we have seen that when youth are empowered to deeply engage in their own learning, they rise to the occasion. The active approach ensures that learners develop not only their civic and legal knowledge but also their engagement skills and confidence.
- Active participation of young people: Through work with educators, community organizations, and governments, we help design programs and resources that equip youth to be active citizens. Our skills-building approach to youth development empowers young people to find positive outlets for their energies, solve personal and societal problems, and make their communities stronger.
- Sustainability and lasting impact: We partner with local individuals and organizations and give them the practical tools they need to independently sustain their programs. We are proud of the fact that Street Law programs—developed with our input and resources but run independently—continue to thrive in countries and communities around the world
Since 1986, Street Law has implemented a range of projects in more than 40 countries throughout Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Check out our program map to learn more about our diverse historical portfolio of work outside of the U.S.