Capacity building for lawyers & PLVs

DIMAPUR | Publish Date: 8/2/2020 1:14:59 PM IST

Nagaland State Legal Services Authority (NSLSA) and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) organised a capacity building of lawyers and paralegal volunteers to respond to cases of foreign national prisoners in custody, care institutions and prisons through a webinar on July 30.

A press release by public relation assistant, NSLSA, Ketholeno Neihu, stated that member secretary, NSLSA N. Longshithung Ezung, in his opening remarks cited that state of Nagaland currently has a foreign national from Myanmar, who is a juvenile currently in observation home. He therefore added that it was pertinent for panel lawyers and para legal volunteers to be acquainted with knowledge to deal with such cases. He further noted that irrespective of nationality it was noted that it was their duty to ensure that access to justice was ensured. 

CHRI Prison Reforms Programme (PRP), programme head, Madhurima Dhanuka, stated that CHRI had worked on the issues relating to detention and repatriation of FNPs in Indian prisons, where she maintained that over the past 2 years “CHRI have been able to assist in the repatriation of over 250 FNPs and assisted in providing consular access to over 500 FNPs across the country.” 

Due to barriers to accessing justice and information in an alien country in addition the closed nature of places of detention, FNPs were exposed to greater vulnerability, she incited. She noted that such discussion were imperative towards identifying those persons in addition to remove barriers to access to justice and ensuring effective legal representation. 

Consultant, PRP CHRI Palak Chaudhari, said that first step the PLs and PLVs could take was to intimate or communicate to high commission or embassy at the time of arrest. Underlying difficulties faced by foreign prisoners include lack of access to justice, discrimination, language barriers, immigration status or culture and religious discrimination, he added. 

Child rights activist & ex-member juvenile justice board, West Bengal, Dr. Bipasha Roy, stated that hand holding needed to be strengthened as far as foreign national’s children were concerned. 

Other speakers included associate protection officer, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Ragini Zutshi, and senior programme officer, PRP CHRI, Amrita Paul. Training was participated by more than 70 lawyers and paralegal volunteers and judicial officers. 

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