UNDP partners with Legal Aid Botswana to promote access to justice in Botswana

June 23, 2021

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Legal Aid Botswana Chief Executive Officer Ms Keona Mphetlhe

UNDP Resident Representative, Jacinta Barrins

The UNDP supported Legal Aid Botswana (LAB) to develop thirteen (13)  legal literacy films and revamp the website of LAB which were later launched this morning in Gaborone. The legal literacy films are expected to be aired on the national television (BTV) covering topics ranging from child custody, divorce and property division issues, gender based violence, cohabitation, general litigation and much more.

In her remarks at the event, UNDP Resident Representative, Jacinta Barrins stated that “These two products, the TV programme videos and website, are two steps towards providing this education to people about their legal rights”.

The revamped Lega Aid Botswana website presents information in both English  and  Setswana Link.  https://www.lab.co.bw/  . “The website is truly  impressive and very professional and offers great legal information on Family law;. Land;  Labor Law; Damages and Contractional claims”, Jacinta explained.

The event was graced by the attendance of the new Legal Aid Botswana  Chief Executive Officer Ms Keona Mphetlhe, the  Chief Justice, High Court judges,  Deputy Chairman of the House of Chiefs , acting Permanent Secretary MDJS, Commissioner of Prisons,  Ass Commissioner of  Police and many others.  

Both the videos and the Legal Aid Botswana (LAB) Re-designed and Interactive Website are activities under Pillar 2 of the Botswana Government and UNDP joint project, “Support to the Fulfilment of Human Rights, Access to Justice and Empowerment of Youth and Women Project (2018-2021).”

Pillar 2 of the Project focuses on: Access to justice for the most vulnerable. The Pillar draws from the provisions of Vision 2036 that anticipate a country that socially includes all persons and where they are treated equally with equal access to social, political, and economic opportunities.

“In light of National Development Plan 11, which reflects Botswana’s desire to have a citizenry that access justice conveniently and effectively, it is fitting that this programme and website be easily accessible, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic”, Jacinta.

Both the Vision and NDP 11 provisions are consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 16 which realises peace, justice, and strong institutions and through which access to justice is an integral pillar.

On her part the Legal Aid Botswana Chief Executive Officer Ms Keona Mphetlhe explained that with the website now offering Setswana and English services, it will allow for more Batswana to self-educate on their legal rights, obligations, and remedies, and interact more easily with LAB on legal issues they face without language and distance barriers.

LAB clients will now be able to monitor their cases and court dates on the kiosk function that is linked to the Administration of Justice platforms. The website also offers myriad other key customer-focused functions to enhance access to legal services at LAB.