Objective: To provide free and accessible legal assistance to poor and vulnerable groups.
Under this action FHRI has continued to extend its pro-bono legal aid services to the poor and vulnerable persons especially women, children, Persons with Disabilities, elderly and minorities in Uganda. FHRI uses the community legal aid model which stresses outreach and legal empowerment in deprived and hard to reach areas.
Cases of human rights abuse are handled with respect to family matters, land, criminal and civil. FHRI runs a fully fledged legal aid clinic at the Human Rights House which provides legal assistance to clients who are mostly the poor and vulnerable of our society on human rights related issues and legal procedures.
Occasionally, FHRI in partnership with partner community based human rights groups in selected districts both at the district and county levels in hard to reach areas run legal aid camps. Legal representation for vulnerable persons is undertaken before courts of law and tribunal for deserving cases. The cases received vary from torture, domestic, criminal, labour, property rights and so on.
Other methods undertaken in handling cases between disputing parties include counseling, mediation and referrals. Together with other legal aid service providers, FHRI also advocates for the support and implementation of a state funded National Legal Aid Policy emphasizing access and non-discrimination.
Community members are also empowered on land rights and procedures through legal rights awareness sessions. In a bid to sustain the project in terms of continued provision of on spot legal advice, trainings for local leaders on legal rights are conducted alongside call-in radio talk shows to enhance sharing of legal and human rights information among communities.
“Ever since this project started work in my Sub county things have changed. My people have been empowered and can now even challenge the way local leaders handle land disputes. As a result, land conflicts are being resolved better. Kibanja owners are now sensitized so land grabbers have resorted to grabbing forests!” Mr. Migadde Paul Richard- Chairperson L.C. 3 Kyanamukaaka sub county in Masaka district during a Focus Group Discussion with FHRI on 27th May 2015.