From the Field – Yale-China Law Fellowship

Xinxin FENG

2011 Yale-China Law Fellow

“China has a large poverty population of 36 million. They are also the group that are deprived of their basic rights. These people are either living in villages scattered in rural areas or working in big factory blocks in cities. In both situations, people find it difficult to solve conflicts locally. No matter what approach they take, it shows that they know little about their rights.

An increasing number of individual lawyers are joining the practice of public interest law in different capacities, representing the underrepresented in need – this is the group I’m focusing at rather than the government agencies. These lawyers input great effort in representation, public education and advocacy. It is important to discover effective and efficient ways to improve service quality and increase lawyer involvement, in order to meet the needs of the large low-income population.

The nurturing of rights consciousness of the people is fundamental to solving a lot of problems. There are many ways to address it…. Considering the very limited resources to legal aid at the moment and in several years’ time, and the nature of communities the poor lives, the legal-community partnership approach MFY adopts is one effective and efficient way that legal aid in China can borrow as I observe, based on above findings.”

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