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First Free Legal Aid Centre for victims and survivors of Gender Based Violence launched last Friday

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 11/12/2017

 

A legal aid centre for victims and survivors of Gender Based Violence was launched last Friday. This centre is to provide free legal aid – to those who seek legal aid regarding gender based violence.

 

This centre will be run by the Ministry of Justice together with the Ministry of Internal Affairs with the assistance of the Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) under the South of the Pacific Community (SPC).

 

Information from the Ministry of Justice says the centre will support the Family Protection Act in ensuring the victims and survivors of gender based violence would get all the legal aid they would need, especially with the service provided for free.

 

This would ensure that women and children will able to access the justice services and the protection offered by the legislation.

 

Lepolo Taunisila, from the RRRT project, says the establishment of the centre will encourage victims or survivors of gender based violence to pursue legal action, whereas they would not have been able to do so before, due to financial shortcomings.

 

Taunisila says the centre is expected to start operating in early 2018 but the program was launched last week during the 16 Days of Activism campaign and also in marking Human Rights Day on December 10th.

 

This centre is a pilot project of the RRRT and if proven successful would be extended by the government.

 

The program is funded by the Government of Sweden and Australian DFAT in cooperation with the RRRT project under SPC.

 

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