Paralegals are everywhere, Africa included

Women face human rights abuses in the informal legal sector:

"Women in rural Sierra Leone have few protections from discrimination and other human rights violations and abuses. They face formal and official discrimination under the law, in customs and in rulings in matters of personal status, marriage and inheritance. Although there is a system within the formal sector through the Local Courts which officially adjudicates on these matters, Chiefs often perform these judicial functions illegally. Amnesty International has found that not only do Chiefs act outside their jurisdiction, at times they collude with men in the community to forcibly evict women and children from their homes or subject them to arbitrary detention and other forms of gender based violence.


"Amnesty International has found that paralegals and legal aid providers helped women understand the importance of ensuring that cases are handled legally through Local Courts. Paralegals and legal aid providers were in some cases assisted women to bring cases formally to the Local Courts where they feel they have experienced an unfair ruling by the Chiefs."