Human Rights Activist, Mary Francis, has said that the local court system is at an all time low, with the High Court building being closed since June and still undergoing renovation.
“ Above all I would say that the court system is really in a dilapidated state,” the outspoken Attorney at Law asserted in a message to mark International Human Rights Day, which is being observed today, December 10, 2015.
Aside from the courts, Francis said there were other areas of concern, including the high number of inmates on remand at the Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF).
Francis, who is the Coordinator of the National Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights, noted that the constitution guarantees those inmates a right to a fair hearing within a reasonable time frame.
She disclosed that a number of persons have visited the centre seeking assistance for redress in a number of cases relating to human rights, including job losses.
“Several cases were referred to the Labour Department and up to now we have not got a resolution. So government must put resources in place to beef up the Department which can impact on the lives of people. The Labour Department is highly undermanned.”
She asserted that the government is the body with the resources to ensure that the rights of citizens are protected and promote human rights in Saint Lucia.
According to the Human Rights Advocate:
“ When someone has lost his job he has lost his life because without employment what quality of life do you have?”
Francis spoke of the need to put legislation in place to protect the human rights of citizens and to ensure that government departments such as the Labour Department and the Department of Human Services function properly.