Our services are geared toward:
Advertising Agencies

Import & Export Agencies



Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)

Police Forces


Probation Services


Social & Welfare services

H.M. Prisons

Solicitors' Firms


Television & Film industries

Housing Associations

Translation Agencies

Educational Institutions

and more ...

Who We Are


CRITERION is an African Languages Interpreting Service. As an independent Agency, the major purpose for its existence is to cater for the well-being of the peoples of the African origins; the Africans in diaspora, asylum Seekers, immigrants in Europe and especially in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
CRITERION is for the maintenance of the client's needs and adherence to National Standards. We serve to remove impediments to communications and strongly subscribe to  International Refugee Law where it is obvious that the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to  the Status of  Refugees  and the similar 1954 Convention on Stateless Persons not only set out substantive rights, such as the right not to be expelled save on the most serious grounds, but also calls for certain standards of treatment. The general rule is that:
"The refugee or stateless person is to receive nondiscriminatory or at least most favoured treatment in his /her enjoyment of  basic rights, such as access to the courts or to employment."
International Law and the Movement of  Persons between States also amongst, has its rules  that in 1965, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of  Racial Discrimination, its importance lies in its enunciation of a principle of nondiscrimination which had been developing over the years. Article 1 of the Convention defines racial discrimination as:

"any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin, which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of  public life."
CRITERION also strongly subscribes to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedom 1953 which demands that:

"a person charged with criminal offense has certain basic rights amongst which is the right to be informed promptly in a language which he or she understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him or her. And is entitled to a free assistance of an interpreter if he or she cannot understand the language used in Court."
The United Kingdom is one of the signatories to the Convention and the Rights in question were consequently incorporated into United Kingdom Legislation. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and reflects the principles already incorporated in the European Convention. For instance, Article 9:
"declares the right of everyone to liberty and security of the person, and freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention."
Article 10 prescribes that:
"all persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person."
Article 12 calls:
"for Freedom of movement for everyone lawfully within the territory of a State, and for the right to leave any country."
The issue of  State discretion as regards those it allows and those it does not allow to live within the confines of its natural boarders is however neither disregarded nor forgotten and therefore no conflicts arise from the matter in question. Further rights are set out in subsequent articles, and these include:
"the right of aliens not to be arbitrarily expelled, the right to equality before courts and tribunals, the right to privacy, honour, and reputation, and the right of the family to protection by the state."
The International Law and the Movement of  Persons between States shows how the content of  Article 26 is slowly but surely gaining ground and becoming an acceptable factor amongst the majority of the nations of the world. The Article at issue holds the following:
"All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this  respect, the law shall prohibit any  discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against any discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property , birth or other status."
Whereas in some cases, the above may fail to serve in some States as part of their customary law, what is  not in doubt  is that it could as a principle at least, serve as an important source of standards. In the case of United Kingdom , nationally the Race relations Act 1976 and the Children Act 1989 collectively call for the need to use:
"Interpreters in circumstances where the client does not have the knowledge of English."

Indeed, the same applies to those with enough knowledge to get by, but not sufficient enough to grant them the fluency of a language so that they are able to conceptualize the legal and technical concepts, ideas and phrases. Most Africans in this country fall under such provisions.
Against this background, CRITERION is committed to making sure, that when given a chance to serve its target group of people, its role is geared towards enabling its clients to provide a service to non-English speaking clients and or customers of African descent, a service which is by all standards, not any lesser in significance and effectiveness, to that offered to the indigenous English speaking people in somewhat similar situations. Those, amongst many, are our priorities for which we call upon you to engage us and make full use of our services to the general public.
CRITERION subscribes entirely to the Police Procedures which were set out in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and in the Code of Practice issued under the Act, stating that: A person must not be interviewed in the absence of a person capable of acting as an interpreter if:
(a) They have difficulty  understanding English.
(b) The interviewing Officer cannot themselves speak the persons' language.
(c) The person wishes an interpreter to be present.
This way, we pride CRITERION as one  appropriate Agency fully dedicated to the needs of the target populace - the Africans as a community in Britain. Objectivity is CRITERION guiding spirit. Paradoxically, CRITERION belongs to, experiences, shares, and understands the needs, obstacles and hurdles faced by the target group. Also CRITERION belongs to, shares, experiences similar values  and comes from the same cultures, traditions, religions, and countries of origins. In this regard alone, 'we do not exist outside the lives of the target group as sheer observers'.
We are it. We are part and parcel of it. And in that respect, CRITERION is different.