ACCESS TO JUSTICE VOLUNTEERS TRAINED IN HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION AND PARALEGAL SERVICES.
Today a team of 25 Peer counsellors our access to justice volunteers gathered at Gulu Women Resource Center (GWRC) to receive further training on community engagement skills, paralegal services, human rights, and conflict resolution. They were trained to share best practices and improve upon their work with a deeper understanding of the types and causes of human rights abuses/violations, monitor, document, and report cases in the community.
VacNet and WGEF’s Peer Counsellors (PCs) are positioned at parish level and serve as mediators and a link between victims and service providers for fellow community members facing human rights abuses and violations. The issues they encounter range from land and property conflicts between family members to rape and defilement of adolescent girls. The Access to Justice program incorporates community dialogues aimed at sensitizing the community on their rights to access fair and timely justice and provide referrals to other service providers.
VacNet and WGEF’s ATJ team work together to conduct activities in their communities:
Conducting Community awareness meetings to sensitize the community on human rights, the ways to report cases of human rights abuses/violation, and the right pathways to access community justice if their rights are abused/violated.
Community dialogue sessions to help communities understand the negative impact of land disputes, domestic violence, and alcoholism in the community and how to locally manage them.
Support to legal and referral services
Recently, our access to justice team have been working with the probation office and police to process 35 more cases which have been a backlogged. Many of these cases involved women and children who are finally able to get justice.
“I believe that injustice can only be eradicated when women are able to take charge of their lives and claim their rights”. Betty VacNet/ WGEF peer Counsellor