Dullah Omar Institute hosts workshop on the access to justice for community members

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, July 11, 2017

On 28 and 29 June 2017, the Dullah Omar Institute, with the help of funding from the Open Society Foundation for South Africa (OSF-SA), hosted a training workshop for community leaders on the access to justice as part of their Socio-Economic Rights Project. This was a continuation of the Community Engagement Workshops hosted by the institute in 2016.

At the workshop, Professor Ebenezer Durojaye presented on the theoretical aspects of access to justice and facilitated some group activities. Shean Rippenaar, an expert from the Legal Aid Clinic at the University of the Western Cape, touched on estate planning and the legal aspects of wills and trusts. Jodie Lee Fredericks from the Women’s Legal Centre did a presentation on relationship rights and maintenance, focusing on Muslim marriages. Lastly, Damaris Keiwits, from the University of the Western Cape’s Community Engagement Unit, discussed the role the community has in holding the government accountable.

The aim of the workshop was to empower community leaders by equipping them with knowledge to provide pivotal human rights support services to the community, given the important roles they play in facilitating or realizing access to justice for vulnerable and marginalized groups in society. This past workshop is part of a series of workshops, which will continue in the latter part of the year.

The workshops also offered a platform for various community leaders and activists with different backgrounds to discuss, network, and share their knowledge on human rights and social justice in South Africa.  The Community leaders were drawn from three communities, namely, Blikkiesdorp in Delft, Mandela Park in Khayelitsha, and Overcome Height in SeaWind Muizenberg. Through this program, the institute hopes to empower community members to assert their rights as well as facilitate access to justice for vulnerable and disadvantaged groups.