UNDP Justice System Programme Supports Legal Outreach Sessions in Covalima

May 3, 2013

imageLouise Donovan, Access to Justice and Gender Officer of UNDP’s Justice System Programme, talks with the Covalima’s students following the outreach session held at their school . Photo: Slava Mysak/UNDP/TL.

“I want to study law in Dili University to learn the laws of my country and become a private lawyer, or maybe a Public Defender,” said Leolinda, a young female student at a UNDP-supported outreach session in Fohorem, a sentiment enthusiastically shared by many of her fellow students. (Lee versaun Tetum iha ne'e)

Covalima District recently enjoyed three successful legal outreach and training sessions in local schools during April, supported by the UNDP Justice System Programme (JSP) and administered jointly with local NGOs, PRADET, AlFela, Hametin Lia Tatoi (HLT) and the National Police Force’s Investigator for Covalima’s Vulnerable Persons Unit.

The sessions aimed to raise awareness on the basic justice institutions and functions of the state justice system and provide information on key legislation, namely the 2009 Law Against Domestic Violence.  
The events were very successful with over 120 attendees. The discussions focused mainly on the Law against Domestic Violence and means of accessing the formal justice system.

A local teacher, Bernardinho Lopez described the events as “extremely important for the local community. They do not know the law or what is domestic violence, so this is very good”.  

These sessions are just the beginning in a year-long series of similar events planned throughout the country for 2013, aiming to raise communities’ awareness of their rights and of the mechanisms in place to ensure they can realize those rights, ultimately increasing access to justice for the population.  

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