To ensure Fijians with disabilities have better access to legal aid services, Legal Aid Commission Fiji met with the Fiji Disabled Peoples Federation to discuss future collaboration between the two organisations.
Legal Aid Commission Fiji Director, Shahin Ali says they have a standing commitment to ensuring that Fijians from all backgrounds have access to legal aid services.
Ali says they want to ensure that no Fijian is left out when it comes to their services.
He adds one of their aims is to empower the Fiji Disabled Peoples Federation on raising awareness when they go out for their own community outreach programs where they can let their stakeholders know about the legal services available to them through the Legal Aid Commission.
Ali further says they took the participants through the process and procedures and explained the range of services available in Family, Criminal, and Civil law matters.
He highlighted that it was emphasized that where persons who were hospitalized, bed‑ridden, or due to old age and mobility were not able to visit the Commission, their teams would visit them.
The meeting was held at Fiji Disabled Peoples Federation’s office with the purpose of identifying challenges and barriers to accessing justice by disabled persons after a request by Fiji Disabled Peoples Federation.
Discussions are also being held between the Fiji Disabled Peoples Federation and Legal Aid Fiji on possible joint community awareness programs and roadshows in the future.
The two organisations are also contemplating entering into a Memorandum of Understanding whereby each could act as a referral and also provide on‑going training and support to each other to better serve Fijians with disabilities and special needs.