Khadija Ahmed Ali, 48, did not know where to find legal services. Now, NRC’s legal aid clinic in her IDP settlement has transformed her life and those of many other IDPs as they can now easily access justice without any challenges or obstacles.

Khadija lives with her family – 9 children (4 boys and 5 girls) in Jabuti IDP camp under Galbeed centre in Kismayo town, Lower Juba region. Khadija and her family was displaced from the 2016 drought that severely devastated all their livelihood assets and they have been living in Jabuti IDP camp for the past five years.

"Before NRC’s legal aid centre there was no specific place or any sort of guidance for the IDP communities where they can receive legal services. In the IDP camps, communal conflicts, disputes and Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) cases are very common and happen at any time, but getting legal assistance was very difficult. These negative practices have become accepted by the IDPs because you do not know what to do and where to seek a remedy,” says Khadija. 

“Sometimes, it is difficult to publicly share your problems, and the reason is that there is lack of understanding about the legal system including law and order actors such as the police station, and also the right place to report your case – these are the major challenges we have had before,” she adds. 

There are enormous social, and cultural barriers in reporting SGBV cases within the IDP camps, compared to other cases. Survivors are often reluctant to pursue cases due to social stigma. NRC provides legal aid to individuals or groups who are unable to effectively claim and exercise their rights. Displaced populations may be in need of legal assistance but either they do not know how to access these services, or lack the capacity to utilise them. Legal assistance is therefore essential to promote and increase access to justice.  And yet, access to justice is a basic principle of the rule of law. If justice is absent, vulnerable individuals like Khadija are unable to have their voice heard, exercise their rights, challenge discrimination and hold decision makers accountable.  
A new dawn! The legal aid clinic.
In 2020, NRC set up a legal aid clinic in Jabuti IDP camp within Galbeed centre in Kismayo town. The clinic was part of several durable solutions activities being implemented under the Danwadaag durable solutions programme. It has ensured that displacement affected communities are provided with specialised counselling and legal assistance related to several cases including but not limited to civil documentation and housing, land and property. The presence of the legal aid clinic has made a huge difference to Khadija and the other vulnerable communities in Jabuti IDP camp. They now have increased access to legal services, including collaborative dispute resolution structures and mechanisms. The legal aid clinic has ensured the delivery of justice to DACs in Jabuti IDP camp is impartial and non-discriminatory.  The clinic has therefore been a key strategy in enhancing access to justice for vulnerable displacement affected communities who continue to face several obstacles within the Justice Law and Order Sector in Somalia.

“I’m one of the people who have benefited from legal aid. I had an unresolved assault case and I wanted to report it, and then I came to this clinic. I was received by NRC staff, I was interviewed and provided with guidance on the availability of free legal services. At first, I had reported my case to the dispute resolution committee. I wanted to have my case resolved but we were unable to reach a final decision. I think they tried their best but they were unable to resolve the matter. After several failed attempts to close the case, it was referred to the police station, who also referred us to the district court. However, when I heard about this new legal aid clinic, I reported the matter to the NRC staff at the clinic and Alhamdulillah, following several meetings and a mediation, my case was finally resolved and I can say I got justice.” Khadija Ahmed

About Danwadaag Durable Solutions Programme

The Danwadaag (meaning common purpose) Durable Solutions Consortium is a three-and-a-half-year programme supported by Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO). It aims to enhance progress towards durable solutions and (re) integration for displacement affected communities (DAC) in targeted urban centres in Banadir, South West State, and Jubaland.  The programme is delivered through a consortium approach led by the International Organisation of Migration as the lead implementing agency, Concern Worldwide and NRC as implementing partners and the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS) as the learning and knowledge partner. 

Photo: Abdulkadir/NRC.
Somalia

Khadija has justice at last

When Khadija Ahmed Ali, 48, suffered an assault, she didn’t know who to turn to. The legal services in the camp where she lived were inadequate and unclear. But a new legal aid clinic, set up by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), has transformed her life and the lives of many other camp residents.

Khadija lives with her nine children in Jabuti camp, in the Lower Juba region of southern Somalia. She and her family were forced to flee by the 2016 drought that devastated their livestock. They have been living in Jabuti camp for the past five years.

"Before NRC’s legal aid centre there was no specific place or any sort of guidance for the displaced communities to help them with legal services,” says Khadija.

“In the camps, conflicts, disputes, and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) cases are very common and can happen at any time, but getting legal assistance used to be very difficult. These negative practices have become accepted by the residents because you do not know what to do or where to go for help.”


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Khadija Ahmed Ali, 48, did not know where to find legal services. Now, NRC’s legal aid clinic in her IDP settlement has transformed her life and those of many other IDPs as they can now easily access justice without any challenges or obstacles.

Khadija lives with her family – 9 children (4 boys and 5 girls) in Jabuti IDP camp under Galbeed centre in Kismayo town, Lower Juba region. Khadija and her family was displaced from the 2016 drought that severely devastated all their livelihood assets and they have been living in Jabuti IDP camp for the past five years.

"Before NRC’s legal aid centre there was no specific place or any sort of guidance for the IDP communities where they can receive legal services. In the IDP camps, communal conflicts, disputes and Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) cases are very common and happen at any time, but getting legal assistance was very difficult. These negative practices have become accepted by the IDPs because you do not know what to do and where to seek a remedy,” says Khadija.

“Sometimes, it is difficult to publicly share your problems, and the reason is that there is lack of understanding about the legal system including law and order actors such as the police station, and also the right place to report your case – these are the major challenges we have had before,” she adds.

There are enormous social, and cultural barriers in reporting SGBV cases within the IDP camps, compared to other cases. Survivors are often reluctant to pursue cases due to social stigma. NRC provides legal aid to individuals or groups who are unable to effectively claim and exercise their rights. Displaced populations may be in need of legal assistance but either they do not know how to access these services, or lack the capacity to utilise them. Legal assistance is therefore essential to promote and increase access to justice. And yet, access to justice is a basic principle of the rule of law. If justice is absent, vulnerable individuals like Khadija are unable to have their voice heard, exercise their rights, challenge discrimination and hold decision makers accountable.
A new dawn! The legal aid clinic.
In 2020, NRC set up a legal aid clinic in Jabuti IDP camp within Galbeed centre in Kismayo town. The clinic was part of several durable solutions activities being implemented under the Danwadaag durable solutions programme. It has ensured that displacement affected communities are provided with specialised counselling and legal assistance related to several cases including but not limited to civil documentation and housing, land and property. The presence of the legal aid clinic has made a huge difference to Khadija and the other vulnerable communities in Jabuti IDP camp. They now have increased access to legal services, including collaborative dispute resolution structures and mechanisms. The legal aid clinic has ensured the delivery of justice to DACs in Jabuti IDP camp is impartial and non-discriminatory. The clinic has therefore been a key strategy in enhancing access to justice for vulnerable displacement affected communities who continue to face several obstacles within the Justice Law and Order Sector in Somalia.

“I’m one of the people who have benefited from legal aid. I had an unresolved assault case and I wanted to report it, and then I came to this clinic. I was received by NRC staff, I was interviewed and provided with guidance on the availability of free legal services. At first, I had reported my case to the dispute resolution committee. I wanted to have my case resolved but we were unable to reach a final decision. I think they tried their best but they were unable to resolve the matter. After several failed attempts to close the case, it was referred to the police station, who also referred us to the district court. However, when I heard about this new legal aid clinic, I reported the matter to the NRC staff at the clinic and Alhamdulillah, following several meetings and a mediation, my case was finally resolved and I can say I got justice.” Khadija Ahmed

About Danwadaag Durable Solutions Programme

The Danwadaag (meaning common purpose) Durable Solutions Consortium is a three-and-a-half-year programme supported by Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO). It aims to enhance progress towards durable solutions and (re) integration for displacement affected communities (DAC) in targeted urban centres in Banadir, South West State, and Jubaland. The programme is delivered through a consortium approach led by the International Organisation of Migration as the lead implementing agency, Concern Worldwide and NRC as implementing partners and the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS) as the learning and knowledge partner.

Photo: Abdulkadir/NRC.
Read caption The legal aid clinic in Jabuti camp, supported by NRC through the Danwadaag programme. Photo: Abdulkadir/NRC

The stigma of assault

“Sometimes, it is difficult to share your problems publicly. The reason is that there is lack of understanding about the legal system here, including about law and order authorities such as the police, and also about where to go to report your case,” she adds.

There are enormous social and cultural barriers to reporting SGBV cases in the displacement camps, compared to other types of case. Survivors are often reluctant to pursue their cases due to social stigma.

Legal assistance is essential in order to promote and increase access to justice. If justice is absent, vulnerable individuals like Khadija are unable to make their voice heard, exercise their rights, challenge discrimination or hold decision-makers accountable. 

Justice at last

In 2020, NRC set up a legal aid clinic in Jabuti camp. The clinic was one of several activities implemented under the Danwadaag programme, which aims to provide lasting solutions for camp residents.

After several meetings and a mediation, my case was finally resolved and I can say I got justice
Khadija, 48

The clinic has ensured that displacement-affected communities receive specialised counselling and legal assistance in several areas, including civil documentation and housing, land and property rights. It has made a huge difference to Khadija and the other camp residents, who now have better access to legal services, including collaborative dispute resolution. The clinic helps to ensure that the delivery of justice in the camp is impartial and non-discriminatory.

“I’m one of the people who have benefitted from legal aid,” reveals Khadija. “I had an unresolved assault case and I wanted to report it, and then I came to this clinic. I was received by NRC staff, interviewed, and given guidance on free legal services.

“Initially, I reported my case to the dispute resolution committee, but we were unable to reach a final decision. I think they tried their best but they were unable to resolve the matter. After several failed attempts to close the case, it was referred to the police station, who then referred us to the district court.

“However, when I heard about this new legal aid clinic, I reported the matter to the NRC staff at the clinic and – praise be to God – after several meetings and a mediation, my case was finally resolved and I can say I got justice.”

About the Danwadaag Durable Solutions programme

The Danwadaag (meaning common purpose) Durable Solutions Consortium is a three-and-a-half-year programme supported by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). It aims to enhance progress towards durable solutions and (re-)integration for displacement-affected communities in specific urban centres in the Banadir, South-West State and Jubaland regions of Somalia.

The programme is delivered through a consortium approach led by the International Organisation of Migration as the lead implementing agency, Concern Worldwide and NRC as implementing partners, and the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS) as the learning and knowledge partner.

Read more about our work in Somalia