Legal Services for Access to Justice for Burundian Refugees (2015)
The overall objective of this project was to provide access to public service to Burundian refugees in Rwanda. But more specifically, this project intended (a) to provide free, speedy and quality access to justice for Burundian refugees, especially to survivors of SGBV and child protection incidents; (b) to increase birth registration for babies born to Burundian refugees either in camps or in urban areas; (c) to build the capacity of administrative and justice actors including the police, public prosecution, judges, and local authorities at sector and district levels on forced migration laws and procedures; (d) to empower both refugees and host communities with basic knowledge on human rights, governance, and laws and legal procedures pertaining to refugees, child protection, and SGBV; and (e) to do a strong advocacy for a non-discriminatory treatment of Burundian Refugees by administrative and judicial institutions.
Implementation timeframe: September - December 2015
iPeace received and handled 233 cases, including 33 SGBV cases, 26 CP cases, 5 common-law cases (robbery, alimony, etc.), and 169 birth registration cases. This represents an average of 58,2 cases per month and approximately 2 cases per calendar day. As far as SGBV/CP are concerned, 84% of cases were reported from Mahama camp, which is by the way the area hosting the majority of the Burundian refugees population. Similarly, more than 89% of cases related to birth certificates originated from Mahama Camp.
Further, the case analysis shows that 85.9% of the survivors of SGBV/CP were women. Whereas just 49.7% of the total number of cases related to birth certificate concern female babies while the number of their male counterpart is slightly higher (50.3%). This is an indicator that both boys and girls are given equal opportunity regarding their birth registration.
From the total of 75.7% of SGBV cases, 80.7% of CP cases and 60% of other cases cases handled by iPeace in four months, 64.1% were definitely closed either by a final judgment, mediation or without further action due to the disappearance or un-traceability of the survivor or the alleged perpetrator or both. Whereas the remaining cases are still pending before judicial organs at various levels in respect of 24.3% of SGBV cases, 19.3% of CP cases and 40% of other cases.
Concerning late birth registration, iPeace succeeded to obtain final court’s suppletory judgments of birth certificates for 84% of applicants. For these cases, it remains to just take the issued suppletory judgments to the Sector for the establishment of their respective birth certificates.
Funders: This project was funded by United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) through Plan International Rwanda.
***The full report is available upon request***