Field visit with LHRC
Access to justice for all individuals is a fundamental aspect of rule of law and a core objective for our partner Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC). Staff from the Embassy had the opportunity to join staff from LHRC for a field visit to Mbinga district.
During the visit to Mbinga town as well as the villages of Lituro and Mbuji, we observed how the LHRC is raising awareness on human rights and increasing access to justice through their training of paralegals. On a voluntary basis, these paralegals provide legal aid for people in both Mbinga town and rural parts of the district. LHRC also appoints human rights monitors in every district in Tanzania who report, monitor and follow up on human rights abuses.
The field visit gave an enhanced understanding of the opportunities and challenges in Mbinga district in regard to both the paralegals’ work and the type of disputes and problems citizens cope with. Discussions with paralegals and lawyers from the LHRC as well as observation of legal aid provision highlighted the high occurrence of cases related to land disputes, inheritance and matrimonial matters. Furthermore, the gendered nature of many cases was striking. However, we were happy to see how the paralegals work hard to increase the awareness and respect of women’s rights. We also concluded that women resorting to legal aid can be seen as a sign of women’s empowerment.