Paulina Quintao – The Director of the Legal Assistance for Women and Children (ALFeLa) Program Merita Correia said they have prepared five lawyers to provide assistance to victims of gender based violence in the courts.
The five Timorese lawyers have completed their judicial course at the Judicial Training Centre in Dili and have already been assigned to the Courts of Dili, Baucau and Suai to provide legals assistance and to defend the victims of gender based violence in these three courts.
"We have five lawyers who have gained qualifications from the judicial training centre and we have sent them to the courts of Suai, Baucau and Dili," said Director Correia, in Vila Verde, Dili.
The director added ALFeLa would make an effort to develop the institutional capacity and human resources to provide proper legal services to the victims, in particular helping women and children to have access to the formal justice system.
ALFeLa has provided legal assistance to 513 victims of gender based violence and most crimes are domestic violence and incest cases.
Meanwhile Member of the Parliamentarian Women's Group MP Josefa Alvares Pereira Soares hopes the Timorese lawyers prepared by ALFeLa will be able to defend the victims in the courts so that justice is served.
"Having our own lawyers is much better so they can help the victims to raise concerns and defend the victims in a court room," said MP Soares.
MP Soares added the government needs to strengthen the ability of NGOs to provide adequate and effective legal assistance to women and vulnerable children who become victim of any types of violence.