The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, held a two-day training workshop on access to justice for persons with disabilities in Gaborone, Botswana from 29 to 30 October 2019. This was the fourth training on access to justice conducted by the Centre in 2019. The first training took place in Lusaka, Zambia in July 2019, and this was followed by the second training in Okahanja, Namibia and the third training in Pretoria, South Africa, which were both held in September 2019.
The training in Botswana, which was conducted in collaboration with the University of Botswana, was attended by 33 participants consisting of judges, magistrates, prosecutors, police officers, and personnel from correctional services. Personnel from the University of Botswana’s Law Faculty and Disability Rights Clinic, as well as members of organisations of persons with disabilities were also in attendance. The training was conducted by a team from the Centre consisting of Ms Dianah Msipa, Ms Innocentia Mgijima, Ms Tariro Rufetu and a team from the University of Botswana which included Dr Emmanuel Moswela, Professor Bonolo Dinokopila and Dr Elizabeth Macharia–Mokobi.
The training covered topics such as understanding disability, the role of effective communication in ensuring access to justice, disability and criminal justice and the use of accommodations to ensure effective access to justice. The participants gave positive feedback on the training and described it as ‘an eye opener to an area that is generally neglected’ and ‘very informative’
The Centre intends to continue rolling out this training to justice personnel and relevant stakeholders in the region.
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