At a time of escalating violence, vulnerable populations such as women, children, people living with disabilities and internally displaced persons face a critical need for legal assistance. The Rusafa Legal Help Desk will provide initial legal information and referral to beneficiaries, and may provide legal representation in court.
UNDP Iraq’s Country Director Adam Abdelmoula emphasised that:
“[The] Rusafa Help Desk strengthens community ties by tasking citizens to promote, provide, and seek legal assistance at the local level. It is important that these services become embedded and perpetuated in all aspects of the legal culture – from education and public service to the institutions themselves.”
The Help Desk is located directly within the Rusafa Justice Palace, the country’s largest and oldest court complex and the site of the Baghdad Appellate Court. The decision to house the Help Desk on court premises is intended to increase visibility and public access.
The Rusafa Help Desk is grounded within the community and is managed by Dar Al Khibra, an Iraqi NGO specialising in providing legal aid to vulnerable groups.
With the opening of the Help Desk in Baghdad’s Rusafa Justice Palace, Iraq now has three help desks, all supported by UNDP, servicing citizens in northern, central, and southern Iraq.
Representatives from Iraq’s Judiciary, UNDP, and the U.S. Embassy were present at the inauguration.
(Source: United Nations)
(Gavel image via Shutterstock)