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Since 2009, the Ministry of Justice in collaboration with Legal Aid Forum, organize an annual Legal Aid Week. It is in this regard that the 2018 legal aid week started from 22nd to 26th January 2018 throughout the country.
During this period, a legal awareness is being carried out by lawyers from the Ministry of Justice and Legal Aid Forum to citizens in sectors. On this 26th January, 2018, The ILPD Rector, Dr. Didas M. Kayihura, was representing the Ministry of Justice in Ruhunga cell, Kibilizi sector of Nyamagabe district where more than 450 citizens attended the campaign. This year, the Legal Aid Week is celebrated for the 9th time under the theme: “Menya amategeko akurengera, uharanire Uburenganzira bwawe”. Which can be literally translated as: “Be aware of laws in use and fight for your rights”.
The Legal Aid Week aims at helping citizen to be aware of laws in use and fight for their rights as well as to know their responsibilities. This will enable them to avoid unnecessary trials which result into loss of time and indemnity.
“Justice took root in our culture, during the precolonial era, Rwandans used to sit together in a meeting place called Gacaca to judge criminals. The purpose was to reconciliate the parties not to punish the defendant.” Explained the Rector.
The discussion focused on two issues that are drug abuse and gender based violence. People were explained the causes and dangers of these issues in the family, community, society and the country.
While concluding, Dr. Kayihura requested the attendants to stand together to fight against drug abuse and all forms of gender based violence as they hinder the development of the country and further punishment that prevent people from their prosperity.
Most of the issues raised after the discussion were gender based violence. The Rector in collaboration with other lawyers like MAJ coordinator in attendance gave legal advice and orientations. He promised advocacy and follow ups.