The groups have been formed to help educate those who are unfamiliar with the judicial system and equal access to protection under the law. The project requires the cooperation of legal officers, police and the Prisons Department, said U Maung Maung Oo, chair of Mandalay district’s legal aid group.
“Ordinary people have difficulty gaining access to the police, the Prisons Department and judiciary. This effort is aimed at those who are vulnerable and in need of legal assistance,” he said.
The law relating to legal aid groups, which was enacted by the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (Assembly of the Union) in January 2016, included some provisions that were difficult to implement, so it was amended in May 2017, said U Tun Aung Kyaw, chair of Mandalay Region’s legal aid group.
The Union Legal Aid Board was formed in November 2017, and in December 2017, the legal aid groups were formed in districts and townships across the country in cooperation with government officials.
“The main objective of the board is to provide advice and guidance. We will not only conduct legal cases but also try to eradicate rape. The regional legal aid board has been assigned to produce a research paper on the relationship between prostitutes and rape,” U Tun Aung Kyaw said.
Law and order will be enforced by providing essential legal information to clients who need it, he said.