Access to Justice Project Reaches CRR

Monday, May 22, 2017

The European Union-funded Access to Justice and Legal Education Project got underway at the Central River Region on 15 May 2017.

The project, which was successfully completed in West Coast Region, Lower River Region, Upper River Region and North Bank Region, was lately being held at Niamina East District in the CRR.

The project is being implemented by the National Council for Civic Education (NCCE), NALA, ADRS and FLAG.

It aims to foster better democratic and economic governance in The Gambia, through improving access to justice and legal education.

The project is out to improve access to legal services/remedial justice, especially for vulnerable groups; legal education, training and research skills.

The project focuses on civic awareness with a campaign geared towards ensuring that local communities are aware of their basic legal rights and obligations and how, and where, to seek redress.

The overall goal of the campaign is to enhance access to justice through civic and legal education and the provision of information on available justice mechanisms.

The specific objectives are to promote public awareness on civic rights and duties; promote awareness of the obligations of law enforcement agencies as well as disseminate knowledge and enhance confidence in the tripartite justice system.

Speaking at the opening ceremony held at MamudFana village, Janet R. Sallah Njie, Key expert in modern law, said one major component of the project was acivic awareness campaign, adding that raising awareness within communities was vital, especially in the new Gambia.

Madam Sallah-Njie said that the feedback they got from communities that benefited from the project was very positive.

She observed that women and children are more vulnerable and most issues in communities affect women, adding that when raising awareness it was important to go to remote communities in order to make life easier for them.

She said that EU could not continue funding the project forever and therefore, they hoped the Government would take up the recommendations to sustain the project. 

Yusupha Bojang, Program Officer at the National Council for Civic Education, also described the project implementation as successful, saying they were very impressed with the turnout.

It showed how people are interested, he said, noting that they use different sensitisation approaches and how participants reaction has shown that they have learned and understood the messages put across.  

Central River Region Governor, Sulayman Barry, said itwas important people are provided with access to justice information because a lot of people in communities have a lot of issues but do not have the legal tools to address those issues.

“This project is crucial and will bring justice to community levels,” he remarked, while describing the project as an important initiative.

He added that providing training of trainers would also be important in the sustainability of the project.

Yankuba Marena, Chairman of Janjanbureh Area Council, said the project came to CRR at a time when a new Gambia was born and thanked EU and project implementers.

Alh. Kebba Touray, Chief of Niamina East District, said they were grateful for benefiting from such a project that it has come to better their lives.

He urged beneficiaries to make use of the knowledge gained as well as share it. 

Author: Cherno Omar Bobb