Kiran calls for expanded legal outreach to rural communities

Kiran calls for expanded legal outreach to rural communities

By Rashika Kumar
Sunday 23/06/2024
Source : Ministry of Women, Children and Social Protection - Fiji

Legal officials have been urged to consider expanding their outreach efforts to rural areas, where educating rural populations on legal matters such as wills, probate, land rights, disability rights, and utilizing digital platforms to make legal services more accessible in remote locations has been emphasised.

This has been highlighted by Assistant Minister for Women, Children and Social Protection, Sashi Kiran while opening the Fiji Law Society's Inaugural Pro Bono Round table 2024 which was aimed to develop a stronger pro bono culture to improve access to justice for marginalized communities and the vulnerable as well as provide legal professionals with a deeper understanding of community needs.

Kiran highlighted the challenges faced by individuals seeking legal assistance, particularly those receiving last-minute advice from overwhelmed Legal Aid lawyers, who try to explain difficult concepts using language these clients may not understand.

She says critical legal information should be translated into the vernacular languages to empower individuals to understand their rights, review legal documents, and access legal services with greater ease.

The Assistant Minister also suggested using social media platforms as a means to share basic legal information to the general public.

Panelists that participated at the roundtable session included Director Legal Aid Commission, Seremaia Waqainabete, Director of Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission, Loukinikini Lewaravu, Fiji Council of Social Services Director, Executive Directer Vani Catanasiga, prominent lawyer Richard Naidu, Fiji Law Society President Wyllie Clark, and President of Fiji Women Lawyers Association, Madonna Fong.

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