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The European Union and MyJustice visit Mawlamyaing Justice Centre

On Monday 13th June, a delegation led by Isabel Faria de Almeida, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Myanmar, visited Mawlamyaing Justice Centre in Mawlamyaing, Mon State. Mawlamyaing Justice Centre is one of two centres supported by the MyJustice Programme, a 4-year European Union-funded programme, implemented by the British Council. The centre provides free legal representation, advice and assistance to poor and marginalised people in need of legal services, as well as delivering legal awareness activities to the community at large.

Václav Švejda (Programme Manager, Governance, Democracy & Human Rights), Manuel de Rivera Lamo de Espinosa (Programme Manager, Peace Support) from the EU Delegation to Myanmar, Jacques Carstens (Project Director), Caitlin Reiger (Team Leader), Susan Lee (Access to Justice Adviser), and Zaw Myat Lin (Head of Mediation) of the MyJustice Programme, British Council also attended the event.

“It is important that Myanmar’s transition to democracy is driven by the rule of law and respect for human rights, said Isabel Faria de Almeida, EU Head of Cooperation. We hope that the EU flagship programme MyJustice can play a valuable role towards developing the rule of law and undertaking activities to improve access to justice for all, ending impunity and achieving greater protection of human rights.”

The delegation also met the Chief Justice and the Attorney General of Mon State on the afternoon of Monday 13th June to discuss how MyJustice could help promote the rule of law and access to justice in Mon state. Following this, the group met clients of Mawlamyaing Justice Centre and members of local authorities to explore the justice issues faced by local communities.

The delegation followed up with a visit to Thaton township on June 14th to meet participants from Mawlamyaing Justice Centre’s community outreach programme, which aims to improve public understanding of legal rights in areas of greatest relevance to the local communities. The delegation discussed key justice issues including land, gender-based violence, and human trafficking with the participants.

“Through the provision of legal awareness, advice, and representation to the poor and vulnerable, the Mawlamyaing Justice Centre is every day protecting the rights of their clients, promoting fair trial standards in the courts, and fighting for inclusion and equality,” said Susan Lee, Access to Justice Adviser for MyJustice. “We look forward to expanding our engagement in Mon State and to supporting additional initiatives which improve access to justice at community level, in partnership with local Rule of Law institutions.”