LSF commits to enhance access to legal aid

THE Legal Services Facility (LSF) has reiterated its commitment to enhance accessibility of quality legal aid services in creating a strong society in the country.

Addressing journalists on Wednesday in Dar es Salaam, LSF Executive Director Lulu Ng’wanakilala said access to justice for all is a critical ingredient to human dignity and sustainable development.

“We (LSF) believe that access to justice is essential for building peaceful, just, and strong societies. Our work is deeply rooted in advancing these principles, thereby contributing significantly to the SDGs” LSF CEO emphasised.

She added: “Goal 16 of the UN SDGs, on ‘Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions’, is at the heart of Tanzania’s journey towards achieving sustainable development. “

Moreover, she noted that LSF’s access to justice program tackles cultural barriers and offers essential legal aid services to the most vulnerable, especially women, girls, and marginalised communities.

Adding: “LSF operates on the principle that well-informed individuals with a solid grasp of their rights and the legal framework are better equipped for social and economic empowerment.”

According to Ms Ng’wanakilala, in 2022, LSF directly reached over 6.4 million community members across the country, both in Mainland and Zanzibar, and indirectly reached 10 million people through mass media.

He noted that through 184 strategically located paralegal units, each serving across the country, particularly in district councils, the LSF program annually impacts over 10 per cent of the population.

Adding: “LSF has also resolved 3,176 inheritance disputes, with 1,172 favouring women, solidifying their role in securing women’s access to valuable assets—a crucial aspect of SDG 5 (Gender equality).”

Regarding gender issues, the CEO said the organisation stands as a dedicated advocate for gender equality and women’s empowerment, with substantial impact.

She added in 2022, they reached a remarkable 3,646,820 women and girls, constituting 56 per cent of total beneficiaries.

“LSF is firmly geared to uplift women’s economic welfare and improve family prospects, this approach aligns with the UN Women’s 2022-2025 Strategic Plan.” she said.

She added that the plan recognises that investing in women’s economic empowerment paves the way for gender equality, poverty eradication, and inclusive economic growth.

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