Replace provides legal aid to vulnerable persons
In a bid to eradicate the high rate of child abuse and injustice meted out to vulnerable communities, the Right Enforcement and Public Law Centre (REPLACE) in partnership with the European Union and Children and Community Protection Network (CCPN) have provided free legal services in communities.
Chief Executive Officer, Comrade Rasheed Awofesan, noted that access to legal fees is a major challenge affecting those populations, making them unable to seek redress when their rights have been infringed upon, hence the decision to give them a voice.
He noted the CCPN helps prevent and take action in the event of abuse of children. “If children who are abused are not exposed to the right care, they may become a danger to themselves and the society,” he said.
According to him, CCPN engages the government on advocacy to make better laws regarding issues of abuse and sensitise the community on their rights and what to do in cases of abuse.
“In Lagos State, they have infused education on human rights in social studies curriculum, which is a right step,” he said.
Project Manager, REPLACE, Segun Babalola, said the project provides a legal clinic for vulnerable persons, which include widows, low-income earners, children, persons with disabilities, to sensitise them on various platforms to get access to justice and toll-free line.
“These categories of people are at a disadvantage in society. We are also informing them of their rights in a language they understand. There are people at the other end of the call that refer them to available legal service providers. The lines are Lagos, 0800300300300, Abuja, 08033908563, Kano; 08036526261, Anambra; 08033459707, Adamawa; 08036341640,” he explained.
Olisa of Ojota Kingdom, High Chief M.O. Odunsanya, applauded the initiative to assist, which he said, would allow people to speak out and get in touch with lawyers.
“There are a lot of happenings in the communities that we experience as community leaders. For instance, we get reports of rape. With this project, people would know where to report such matters without fear,” he exclaimed.