CHRI staff and partners train to provide paralegal assistance to vulnerable communities

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) Africa Office has opened a four-day training programme to increase the capacity of its staff and partners’ knowledge and skills needed to effectively provide legal assistance services to vulnerable and marginalized communities.

It also sought to encourage partners to volunteer to visit police stations to support vulnerable and marginalized people’s access to justice.

The four-day training, with over 30 participants, is intended to equip legal assistants with the necessary knowledge and skills to help increase access to justice for people who may not be able to afford a lawyer.

Ms Mina Mensah, Director of CHRI Africa Office, speaking at the event, said most women and children, whose rights were violated found it difficult to access justice because they were unable to employ the services of a lawyer.

She said the presence of paralegals in communities would ensure that justice was freely brought to the doorsteps of citizens, especially the vulnerable and margin

Ms Mensah said State actors in the paralegal training sessions and network helped in the rapid responses to cases reported.

The participants, numbering 30, included officials from the Legal Aid Commission, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), representatives from community-based organisations, staff of CHRI and other volunteers.

Mrs Esther Ahulu, Programmes Manager of the CHRI Africa Office, said to complement the government’s efforts in providing legal aid services to, especially the poor and vulnerable, CHRI carried out several intervention programmes, where paralegals among others visit designated Police Stations to offer legal assistance to indigent arrested persons.

She encouraged stakeholders to visit designated Police stations to offer legal assistance to indigent arrested persons in need.

Source: Ghana News Agency