Georgia’s Legal Aid Service, in partnership with the Government of Germany and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), has introduced a new initiative to bring legal assistance to remote and hard-to-reach areas in the country. This innovative mobile service aims to provide free legal services to people living in the highlands, villages affected by conflict, and hard-to-reach regions.
On 18 October, the Legal Aid Service’s team of lawyers and consultants embarked on their first ride to the Shida Kartli region, targeting the Zemo Nikozi village situated at the Administrative Boundary Line with the South Ossetia/Tskhinvali region.
H.E. Peter Fischer, the Ambassador of Germany to Georgia; Anna Chernyshova, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Georgia; and David Simonia, Legal Aid Service Director, met with the mobile consultation team before their journey to discuss the most effective ways of offering free legal services to those who need it most.
“With the support of the Government of Germany and UNDP, we are extending our reach to remote areas in Georgia,” David Simonia noted. “Our mission is to create lasting change by empowering vulnerable communities and increasing their access to justice by providing free legal services.”
“The rule of law is indispensable in European democracies,” said Ambassador Fischer. “I am delighted that we are contributing to all Georgians knowing their rights and how to defend them.”
Established in 2007, the Legal Aid Service is one of Georgia’s leading rule-of-law institutions, providing free legal services to socially and economically disadvantaged people in need of legal assistance. The Legal Aid Service extends its assistance to various social groups in Georgia, including representatives of ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, people affected by conflict, and economically vulnerable populations.
“Access to justice is a fundamental right, and this initiative will play a crucial role in ensuring that hard-to-reach populations can exercise their legal rights effectively,” Anna Chernyshova says.
Over the years, the Legal Aid Service has received support from various international organizations, such as the European Union and UNDP. Currently, this assistance is part of a broader US$1.62 million initiative funded by German Cooperation and implemented by UNDP. The initiative aims to strengthen the capacities of rule-of-law institutions, enhance access to disability-inclusive infrastructure, and ensure the legal empowerment and socio-economic resilience of disadvantaged communities.