Hope Behind Bars Africa Launches Handbook for Young Human Rights Lawyers in Nigeria
Hope Behind Bars Africa on 8th June, 2022 carried out a capacity training designed for young human right lawyers titled “Strengthening the Capacity of Young Human Rights Lawyers” in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria. The training had facilitators from key stakeholders of the criminal justice sector in Nigeria. The training which features virtual and physical participation, engaged young lawyers in Abuja, Kano and Edo with up to date knowledge and information on the role of the various stakeholders of the criminal justice system, rights of pre-trial detainees, protecting the rights of the vulnerable population, rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders back into the society.
According to Genevieve Ike Johnson Esq, Senior Supervising Solicitor of PDSS, Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee (ACJMC), “Pre-trial detainees are susceptible to a lot of inhumane and degrading treatments in Nigeria; as such, we have a duty of care towards these detainees. Genevive mentioned that lawyers representing indigent inmates ought also be treated with respect and given the relevant skills and information needed to protect themselves.
The high point of the training was the launching of the first edition of the Handbook titled “Legal Representation for Indigent Pre-trial Detainees (A New Wig’s Pre-trial Guide)” for Young Human Rights Lawyers, supported by The Pollination Project. The Executive Dirctor of Hope Behind Bars Africa Funke Adeoye, stated that the book was concieved due to the poor treatment young lawyers suffered during the END SARS protest while representing unlawfully detained inmates.
Funke said that, the handbook will arm fresh lawyers with the necessary information on their rights and teach them how to carry out their duties effectively. I am grateful to the team, Okeke Grace Eche, Abiola Ayodele Zakari Emmanuel,and volunteers who put in efforts to ensure the success of the project.
The training and launch of the handbook came days after the organization distributed hygiene materials and face masks produced by female inmates to Correctional centers in Niger State, Nasarawa State and the Federal Capital Territory.
The training was funded by COVID-19 Grassroots Justice Fund and the Handbook was funded with support of The Pollination Project.
Hope Behind Bars Africa remains committed to being a beacon of hope to the unjustly incarcerated and a voice for criminal justice reforms in Nigeria. With 4 years of providing free legal representation to over 200 indigent pretrial detainees and engaging inmates on vocational skills training.
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