AdvocAid to help women & girls seek legal aid


October 27, 2015 By Victoria Saffa

With support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Union, AdvocAid – in partnership with the British Council Sierra Leone – yesterday unveiled plans for the launch of ‘Police Case II’ on both television and radio stations to help women and girls know their rights and seek legal aid.

The Police Case series consists of eight episodes with each aiming at not only entertaining the public but also providing them with vital information about their legal rights within the criminal justice system, as well as ensuring that women and girls are linked with organisations that can offer legal support and assistance.

Acting Executive Director of AdvocAid, Sonia Osho-Williams, stated that the series is set in Freetown and deals with practical legal issues that mainly impact on the lives of vulnerable women and girls.

She continued that each of the eight episodes focuses on a specific legal issue ranging from Ebola regulations and sexual and gender-based violence, loitering, traffic laws, infanticide, child trafficking, larceny and debt.

“We are partnering with the UNDP, EU and the British Council to bring this project to reality, using focus groups to establish the most common legal issues to educate the masses,” she said and expressed hope that by watching the movies, the audience will recognise the situations as common occurrences, especially for women and girls.

Madam Osho-Williams also hoped that by dramatising scenarios, the public will learn about the laws and understand what to do if they fall into conflict with the law.

“Within Sierra Leone, a number of laws are gender discriminatory, resulting in a legal system where women are disadvantaged and under-represented,” she said. “My organisation seeks to find the best possible ways through which to support women, educate them, and in turn advocate for changes to these laws.”

Also, Director of British Council, Simon Ingram-Hill, noted: “Radio and television are important forms of media in Sierra Leone and through Police Case II, we hope to reach as many women and girls as possible with these important legal messages throughout the country, particularly those who are illiterate and uneducated, and to raise the awareness of many more in the wider community on these issues.”