By Yankuba Jallow
The National Agency for Legal Aid (NALA), on Friday June 19th 2020 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Malick Jallow’s Foundation for Children to collaborate in Child Rights advocacy and protection.
Kemo A.K. Ceesay, the Executive Director of NALA said his office was set up by an Act of the National Assembly and it is responsible for administering legal aid in respect of persons entitled to it; that they also provide both general and one to one advice to people as well as do sensitization. Lawyer Ceesay said priority is given to persons who come in conflict with the law and are faced with serious offences.
“We enhance access to justice for children,” Ceesay said; that the number of Children’s Courts is increasing and the number of children who come into conflict with the law is also going up; that NALA does not have all the human and financial resources to stand for every person who comes into trouble with the law.
“I thank the ‘Malick Jallow Foundation for Children’. They will reduce the workload for us regarding children’s cases. They will take up some of the cases and represent children in Court,” he said.
Ceesay said this type of partnership goes a long way in helping NALA fulfill its primary function of ensuring access to justice for people who come into conflict with the law, particularly children.
Lawyer Malick H.B. Jallow, founder and President said his foundation is a charitable one registered in the Gambia in 2013; that the Foundation was established out of necessity because children who come in conflict with the law in those days, struggled to get legal representation owing to financial constraints.
“The Foundation has been ‘pro bono’ offering legal representation for children at the Children’s Court for children who come into conflict with the law. We want to ensure that children who come into conflict with the law, have access to justice,” Jallow said; that the signing of the MoU will foster the long-standing relationship between the Foundation and NALA and will ensure that children who come into conflict with the law have access to justice.
“This partnership will help NALA in the implementation of its mandate,” Jallow said; that the Foundation does not only stop at providing legal representation but does builds the capacity of those children under their custody.