All-in-one centres to tackle violence, provide support in hinterland regions

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New ‘hope and justice’ centres will be established in the various hinterland regions to ensure that residents living in these areas are able to readily access legal representation and other services when they experience violence of any kind.

This was highlighted by the Minister of Human Services and Social Security Dr. Vindhya Persaud, during a recent interview with the News Room.

The minister explained that these centres will cater exclusively for residents in the hinterland regions who, traditionally, have been challenged by the provision of limited services.

“The intention is to put all the services under one roof,” Dr. Persaud stated.

These services include legal and medical aid, law enforcement and counselling. And, when an individual experiences some form of violence, it is expected that the individual would be able to report the incident and get the required support instantly.

“Instead of people having to go five different places to deal with one issue, all of that will be there,” the Human Services Minister emphasised.

Importantly, she also highlighted that the all-in-one buildings are also expected to feature temporary shelters for people who have been abused to seek refuge.

Because of the nature of the challenges that exist in the hinterland regions, specifically on concerns that people are more frequently trafficked here, Dr. Persaud also noted that emphasis will be placed on services to counter Trafficking in Persons (TIP).

These centres are being established through collaborative efforts between the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security and the Ministry of Legal Affairs.

And Dr. Persaud said that the establishment of these centres is not meant to replace any services already offered. That means that probation and welfare services will still be offered in the regions.

Last week, Minister Persaud said that access to justice must be done in a timely manner. And during the interview with the News Room, she believes that these centres will allow matters to be dealt with more swiftly.

The establishment of these centres builds upon the suite of new initiatives rolled out to help curb violence and provide a greater level of support to people who have been abused.

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