International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) has organised a training course at Peduase in the Eastern Region to prepare paralegals for assisting citizens, women, children, and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to access justice easily.
Paralegals are trained to assist lawyers in providing legal services to clients, including conducting legal research, drafting legal documents, and interviewing witnesses.
The three-day training, with 20 participants, is therefore intended to equip legal assistants with the necessary knowledge and skills to help expand access to justice for people who may not be able to afford the services of a lawyer.
Addressing the session, Ms. Susan Aryeetey, Acting Executive Director of FIDA, stated that most women, children and PWDs whose rights were violated found it difficult to access justice because they were unable to employ the services of lawyers.
She said the presence of paralegals in communities would ensure that justice was freely brought to the doorsteps of citizens, especially women, children and PWDs.
She noted that including state actors in the paralegal training sessions and networks helped in the rapid responses to cases reported to paralegals.
“A WhatsApp group chat will be created for the paralegals so that it is easier if you’re a paralegal and you have a case on the platform, whoever mandate it is to provide support or a service will take it up”, she said.
The training is scheduled to be held in four regions: Greater Accra, Eastern, Ashanti, and Volta, and attendees would be handed certificates confirming that they had received instruction on legal matters impacting women, children, and persons with disabilities.
The participants included major stakeholders such as the Ghana Health Service, Ghana Education Service, Social Welfare, Security Agencies, The Women’s Alliance, PWDs, and the media, all of which deal with the public on a regular basis.
FIDA Ghana is a nonpartisan, non-profit organisation committed to combating discrimination, promoting and protecting the rights of women and children in the country.
Their mission is to create a society, where women and children have equal access to opportunities and are treated with dignity and respect, and they work towards achieving this through advocacy, education, and empowerment programmes.