The vast majority of people in the world have no access to adequate legal service. The major problem is financial. Most people do not have the means to hire a legal professional. At the same time the legal profession cannot provide all of the required services free of charge. In some countries and regions within countries there is an acute shortage of lawyers, for example in the Northern Territory of Australia there are only 23 lawyers. In some places the large number of individual eligible for aid blocks access to the service. Distance and lack of communication facilities. Lawyers or clients would have to spend days travelling to provide the service. Language differences may hinder legal aid services. In large metropolitan areas, like Los Angeles, or multilingual countries, like India, dozens of languages are spoken and providing lawyers or even translators may be difficult. Legal aid offices may not be near courts. The high cost of administrating legal aid may prevent adequate services being provided. The legal profession may not support efforts to provide legal aid. The government or large segments of the public may oppose legal aid services. Where legal aid is provided, the government may influence the professional decisions of lawyers providing the service. The public may be unaware or distrustful of the service.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.