ZWD held NED legal aid awareness raising forums in Omsinaibra village (February 24, 2018) and Gadaref state women’s prison (March 1, 2018).

The forums were organized as part of  NED-ZWD Access to Justice & Legal Aid-Gadaref State- East Sudan project, aiming to 1) raise awareness among communities in eastern Sudan about human rights and 2) provide legal aid services to disadvantaged and vulnerable communities in Eastern Sudan, particularly women.

Since October 2017, the project has completed the following activities:

  1. Provision of legal aid services to the vulnerable social groups: women, girls and children against violations of human rights, women & child rights.
  2. Support women in Gadarif State prison through checking their legal status and support those waiting trials.
  3. Implement 3 aware raising sessions on women and child rights, review laws and regulations aiming at protecting women, girls and children against all types of human rights violations including forced marriage, abduction, rape, physical violence and FGM/C.
  4. Coordinate with related stakeholders such as State child protection administration, family and child administration, women prison and child care centre, hospitals ,psychological support centre to boost their support  to victims from  vulnerable social groups and extend project hands to contribute to women and child protection against human rights violations.

The project has implemented 3 sessions in different targeted locations, including one inside women prison in Gadarif State to enable women prisoners come in direct contact with project legal aid team of lawyers to listen to their legal problems that sent them to jail, express their need for any legal aid services. We also provide jailed women accompanied by children in the prison with some support and enhance their links with legal aid services.

There are 68 women in prison with 20 children who are in need of logistic support and nutritive food. Our learning indicates that various economic factors and limited sources of inco have pushed these women to seek illegal ways to earn income – such as selling local wine and disputes with husbands around land/property rights. Women in prisons were informed about basic women rights and family laws (see below full list):

  • Family laws in Sudan, more understanding of prevailing laws and regulation in this context and the need to enforce laws to protect women and child rights.
  • Basic Human Rights as stated in international HR declaration, international conventions & in local laws. Women social/economic & political rights. Family laws in Sudan. Child custody. Ownership and management of resources.
  • The concept of rule of law.
  • Prevailing traditions that deepen gender inequality and violate women’s rights.
  • The concept of rule of law and how to protect human/women rights against violation, role of community in respecting women dignity and humanity.
  • Enhancing the understanding of human rights-women rights in particular- and how to control social traditions that ignore women’ rights.
  • Prevention of GBV: Enforcement of recent legislations and laws that criminalize the practice of FGM/C(Female Genital  Mutilation)  and Human trafficking and shed the light on the need for laws and regulations reform to protect women and girls rights.
  • Review laws aiming at protecting women and children.
  • Mobilize women and girls to defend their basic human rights

ZWD team of lawyers regularly examine received legal cases violations against women and children  which include rape, kidnapping, forced marriage, early marriage, abandonment of wife, victims of GBV, sexual abuse and harassment and FGM/C, human trafficking from various sources such as communities leaders, police circles, hospitals, child care counsel, psychological support centre or through victims themselves who call the focal person in charge of receiving cases of violations, links with these sources is established and well oriented about program legal aid services for the vulnerable social groups specially women and children, incident reporting format has been developed by the team and distributed among concerned parties with team phones numbers.