Legal Aid efforts needs governmental assistance – FIDA-Ghana

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Mrs Susan Aryeetey, Acting Executive Director, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA)-Ghana, has called on government to facilitate the efforts of Legal Aid so it could help the vulnerable access justice.

She said access to justice forms part of good governance and democratic culture, therefore it is necessary for the State to put in place measures to ensure that Gender Exclusion Social Inclusion (GESI) groups such as Persons With Disabilities (PWDs), women living with HIV and AIDS and the vulnerable had easy access to justice.

Mrs Aryeetey, who was speaking at a day information session with the media in Ho, said if people are not able to access justice because of their vulnerable positions and unavailability of funds to hire services of a lawyer, it could create a lot of discontent, which could even lead to violence.

She said a lot of issues affecting the lives of the vulnerable in society could be addressed if the media continues to do more research on them, highlight and draw the attention of the authorities responsible to them and urged the media to rise to that responsibility.

Mrs Aryeetey said policy makers failed to capture certain critical issues affecting GESI groups in policies because such issues occurred at their blind sides, hence the need for the media to highlight those concerns for redress.

Mr Alex Korsi Akpo, President, FIDA and GESI paralegals, said though many agencies fail to comply with provisions in the Disability Act, the GESI group, especially the PWDs were not able to take action against the agencies because “they need legal representation which they cannot afford”.

He urged the media to do more in highlighting issues affecting GESI groups in society and access to justice by the vulnerable.

The conference was organized by FIDA-Ghana in collaboration with Star-Ghana under the Gender Inclusion and Voices on Equality Sustained (GIVES) project.

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