WACOL is considered as the number one legal aid service provider for women and girls in Nigeria providing assistance to about 2,000 on an annual basis with over 4,000 drop-ins yearly. We register an average of 20 cases daily at our legal clinic. This is evidence based and well documented. From 1998 to date approximately 62,000 women and girls have accessed free legal aid and assistance services. We provide free legal services for women and young people in our offices across the country. We also ran community law centers in Katsina, Ebonyi and Anambra States, including Mobile Legal Clinics in Bayelsa, Benue, Enugu and Rivers States. The services available under the legal aid scheme include court representation, crisis intervention and counselling, information about victims’ rights, shelter, home visits and other psycho-social support for victims, and referrals for other needs. These cases are on different human rights abuses, including denial of inheritance, assault/battery, child abuse/neglect, harassment/intimidation, sexual assault/rape, family maintenance and other forms of violence against women and young people.
In a bid to extend its successful women’s rights programme to the northern parts of Nigeria, WACOL embarked on legal aid and access to justice project in Northern Nigeria to ensure an Islamic legal environment that takes into account the human rights of women. The project has so far covered thirteen northern states of Nigeria including Abuja. An important aspect of this project was the establishment of a rapid response mobile legal clinic and the training of community paralegals, which contributed to the extensive reach of the project activities.