These stories from Nairobi illuminate how Nubian people often face Kafkaesque demands for documents stretching back through the generations of their families. They show how one person’s documents may support another’s application – so discrimination against one harms many. The community-based paralegals supported by Namati and its partner are chipping away at this discrimination and empowering the Nubian community.
In 2013, hundreds of Kenyan Nubians acquired proof of their citizenship for the first time. In Burma, with support from paralegals, thousands of farmers began registering their lands. Communities in Sierra Leone and Mozambique worked to resolve problems in healthcare delivery. We ask you to consider supporting the ongoing efforts of community paralegals around the world.
The Africa Justice Foundation’s (AJF) mission is to build legal capacity in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors through education and professional skills training implemented via partnerships with governments, academic institutions, Bar associations and legal bodies in sub-Saharan Africa. We aim to contribute to the development of robust, stable and predictable legal systems that meet the needs of both the citizens of those countries and the regional and globally competitive environments of which they are a part.
A strong and reliable legal system is an integral part of the framework that enables emerging economies to thrive – economically, politically and socially. Laws, legal capacity and the wider justice system constitute the ‘invisible’ infrastructure, less visible than roads, power stations, ports and broadband internet cables, but equally critical for economic, political and social growth. AJF aims to help to build this infrastructure.
Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, discusses how she has leveraged her position to strengthen the voices of those who are routinely ignored by their governments and the international community.
Namati CEO Vivek Maru and Margaux Hall argue that fines collected for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) could be used to establish a multilateral financing mechanism for the direct legal empowerment of citizens worldwide.
A partnership convened by the World Resources Institute has developed an online forest monitoring and alert system, Global Forest Watch. Intended to empower forest-dependent communities to track daily activity on their land and alert them to potential deforestation or other violations, Global Forest Watch is also a crowdsourcing platform that sources some of its data from community documentation of local violations.
A forthcoming article by Rachael Knight and co-author Marianna Bicchieri, Chief Technical Advisor on land and gender at the Food and Agricultural Organization, points to the importance of addressing women’s land rights at the community-level, rather than solely through individual land titling.
Namati’s work in Burma providing legal assistance and advice to farmers facing a new land registration law has been recognised in the annual CLASSY Awards. The Burma program’s work was named as a ‘Top 5′ nominee in the category ‘Livelihood Development and Quality of Life’.
Experts say the media and policymakers are ignoring the enormous role African middle classes and local ruling elites, not just foreign investors, are playing in inequitable land transfer, or ‘land grabbing’, in Africa in recent years.
Last week in Washington, DC, Namati championed legal empowerment and local capacity-building as key elements of community land protection efforts. Learn more about the experience and research we shared.
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