The Refugee Law Project (RLP) was established in 1999 to provide legal aid to asylum seekers and refugees in Uganda. This was in response to an extensive research project led by Drs. Barbara Harrell-Bond and Guglielmo Verdirame. Their research found that, despite Uganda's strong international reputation for providing asylum to refugees, refugees did not always enjoy their rights in accordance with domestic and international law.
Since then, the provision of legal aid has been supported by adding a psycho-social unit which provides clients with counselling and referrals on a range of non-legal matters, including sexual and gender based violence, access to medical care, housing and education. The provision of direct support is complemented by education and training activities. These are targeted both at duty bearers such as police, immigration officers, judges, magistrates and local government officials, and also at refugees themselves. These activities are supported by an active research and advocacy department which seeks to provide the necessary empirical support for any debate about policy and legislation, and to advocate on behalf of our client base.
Over the year we have found it increasingly important to consider the question of transitional justice as it affects forcibly displaced populations. Much of this work is coordinated through the Beyond Juba Project.
As such, our overall focus can now be described as Justice & Forced Migration.
That all people in Uganda enjoy their human rights, irrespective of their legal status. This vision is supported by relevant international laws as well as the Constitution of Uganda.
To empower asylum seekers, refugees, deportees, IDPs and host communities in Uganda to enjoy their human rights and lead dignified lives.
To promote the protection, well-being and dignity of forced migrants and their hosts.
To empower forced migrants, communities and all associated actors to challenge and combat injustices in policy, law and practice.
To influence national and international debate on matters of forced migration, justice and peace in Uganda.
To be a resource for forced migrants and relevant actors.