Mrs. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles Executive Director Legal Aid Board in her brief remarks, noted that the LAB saw it as very important for it to conduct rights based work with the health sector for better performance of health staff nationwide.
She added that they partnered with HIV/AIDs Secretariat and Global Fund for the success of the workshop and that they are very appreciative that these partners are also helping the LAB strengthen the presence of paralegals across Sierra Leone.
“We brought all our staffs from the provinces to Freetown for them to be trained because as LAB we work with MDAs that are looking at rights issues,” Madam Carlton-Hanciles said.
The LAB according to the Executive Director is actively engaged in the national achievement of Goal 16 of the sustainable development goals (SDGs). She further noted that the United Nations discovered that they needed to come up with new goals which are in the sustainable development goals because they did not have the right-based approach initially.
“We are working across with all MDAs, labor, social welfare, health and education,” she said.
According to her, they are happy to have had the HIV/AIDs Secretariat training Legal Aid Board staff, noting that people living with HIV/AIDs and other vulnerable groups are also part of society and need to be advocated for when the need arise.
Dr. Alhaji Momodu Sesay Director National HIV/AIDS Secretariat in his statement commended LAB for giving them the opportunity to their staff across the country to be trained to serve as mouth piece in their various communities.
He added that they want to provide services for people with the disease considering the fact that they lived within the communities and they interact with people.
“The legal environment for access to service for people with the disease is challenging to the Secretariat and therefore we have to bring in legal experts to help address some of these legal issues,” Momodu Sesay said.
According to Mr. Sesay there is legal implication for them if they do not provide services for people with HIV/AIDs, noting that people with the disease interact and inter-marriage with people in the community which can cause transmission.
“There is a whole lot of stigma and threat on people with the disease in their communities which causes low access to service,” Sesay added.