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members in need must be able to access legal assistance in order to obtain
such protection and financial support. Without legal assistance there may
be no meaningful access to justice, with the consequence that vulnerable
family members, particularly children, are at risk of physical harm, emotional
trauma and economic insecurity. This in tum can lead to additional
draws on already scarce community resources such as police, healthcare,
mental health services, social assistance, women’s shelters, housing subsidies
and homeless shelters. As well, the slide into poverty that often accompanies
family separation is difficult to overcome.
Legal aid coverage for family law services should provide the necessary
assistance for vulnerable family members in obtaining protection for them
from family violence, obtaining basic necessities of life through enforceable
support orders and agreements, and in achieving some degree of stability in
housing, schooling and employment.
Commentary 8: FINANCIALLY DISADVANTAGED PERSONS
Poverty law services should be included in legal aid and developed to
address current needs in society. The purpose of the services should be to
facilitate access to essential legal and social services for people who are living
in poverty and are unable to access such services. This should include
coverage for matters that will reduce the likelihood of the individual becoming,
or remaining, trapped in a cycle of poverty.
Commentary 9: IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES
Legal aid services should be available for immigrants and refugees in need.
It is particularly important to provide legal assistance for immigrants and
refugees at risk of deportation or involuntary return to a country where
such a return places the individual’s life or security of the person at risk.
1. Article 6.2.