New paralegal practitioner’s guide on citizenship rights


(Freddie Kiapik) #24


Greetings from #UGCommonwealth2005

Recd and noted with thanx from Uganda, Kampala


(McKinley Charles) #25

Hello @princeisraelorekha,

Namati does not have a presence in Nigeria but there are a number of experienced and knowledgeable members of the network working there using a community paralegal approach. Maybe you can see if some sort of guest visit or collaboration is possible? You may want to reach out to @fatimaadamu who works for Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative in Kano State or @andrewmaki who works with Justice and Empowerment Initiative in Lagos.

I would suggest you also take a look at the “How to Develop a Community Paralegal Program” online resource guide which links to a lot of different training tools and manuals (click on “basic skills” in the left-side column).

(McKinley Charles) #26

Bonjour, @GostinKyubwa,

Nous voulons traduire le guide dans différentes langues pour rendre le contenu accessible au plus grand nombre possible de praticiens de l’autonomisation juridique. L’espagnol est susceptible d’être la première langue, mais l’arabe et le français pourraient suivre s’il y a une demande! Merci de nous faire savoir qu’une version française serait utile! [en utilisant Google translate]

(Prince Israel Orekha) #28

Dear McKinley , Thanks for sharing we will go through the guilde and start planning for the setting of the paralegal studies center.

(Andrew Maki) #29

Hi Prince (@princeisraelorekha),

Good to be in touch — please send me a mail on Would be very happy to discuss/collaborate!

All the best,


(Prince Israel Orekha) #30

Dear Colleagues, It is a privilege for us to sharing with Andrew, and the entire house , we want to start Namati paralegal studies center in Benin City Nigeria, to help support our citizens who are suffering from all froms victimization, oppression,and exploitation to better engage and tackle all forms injustice ,human right abuse and land grabbing challenges that they counter. We will be needing some forms support as volunteer trainer , materials and all other forms of support to help start up and Establish Namati presence in Nigeria .


(Obore Joseph) #31

This a great and well thought out document! It has rich knowledge indeed. These are my insights and lesson from it.
After reading and understanding of the above document, this is what I learnt:

The resource contains a full documentation of citizenship and other forms of legal identity necessary for Community Based justice practitioners. It highlights various forms of discrimination arising as a result of lack of legal identity documents, data from various sources, empowerment ways and the sustainability of community based legal programming, it also highlights all the necessary legal identity documents and the impact, benefits enjoyed when one has any or all of them.

This resource can help me in my work through the follow ways;

It provides me with relevant data, statistics and documentation which can be incorporated in to my legal empowerment work. It has made me understand the relationship between legal identity and human rights. Helps me to determine the need and opportunity to help identify relevant actors and understanding their influence. It helps me know how to raise funds, budgeting and ensure sustainability of legal empowerment projects. I know understand how to cultivate lasting productive relationship between the organization and community. Planning, monitoring, managing and learning for success, collecting managing and using data, sustainable funding sources and building a team.

Some help on this.

Please give me a sample of the training curriculum for training paralegals/youth on Nationality and Legal identity? That is, modules/topics to be covered? I am organizing a training for the youth on Nationality and Legal Identity.

[Featured Resource] Community-Based Practitioner's Guide - Documenting Citizenship and Other Forms of Legal Identity
(Andrew Ochola) #32

Thanks, @lauragoodwin.

In Kenya, area chiefs are very important in the registration and documentation of persons. In fact, in most cases, it’s almost impossible to acquire a legal identity document without the involvement of the local chief. With respect to birth registration, for instance, they are mandated to provide birth notifications for births occurring at home and to submit returns to the relevant registration centres- often located in district headquarters.

A good number of Chiefs are doing a commendable job to facilitate the registration process. However, there are some whose actions and/or inactions discourage people from seeking registration. For instance, we have registered complaints about chiefs who;

  • Charge the community fees for application forms that government provides freely;
  • Demand payment for acknowledging late birth applicants;
  • Demand money from applicants coming to collect their documents.
  • Fail to submit returns on time;
  • Collude with middle-men, locally known as “brokers” to extort money from applicants;
  • Come up with undocumented administrative practices intended to block out a certain section of the community.
  • Assist ineligible persons to acquire legal identity documents.

To address some of these issues, Haki Centre has been conducting workshops for government officials involved in registration - to improve their understanding of relevant registration laws and procedures. Our Paralegals are also working to empower the community to know their rights, understand basic citizenship laws, as well as registration procedures and requirements including fees for different forms of registration. Again, we encourage the community to seek registration documents on time because late registration procedures are often riddled with corruption, but which unfortunately is sometimes initiated by the late applicants themselves.

@Tankiso encourage your community to share these malpractices with paralegals as soon as they occur. This way, they can be addressed before they get out of hand- especially if they are able to provide evidence or effective leads. It can also be helpful if the community can unite and speak with one voice to condemn these injustices.

In a recent citizenship working group meeting in Nairobi Kenya, this issue came up for discussion. A senior registration official in that meeting indicated that the government is considering proposals for other persons who can work as registration agents to complement chief’s efforts, but also to reduce their dominance in the process. @mustafa_mahmoud can confirm if this is correct. I believe things can change significantly if such a proposal is implemented.

These are lessons from the Coast region of Kenya. @zena @yasahkym can also add their voice.

(Mwaka Abdallah) #33


Thanks allot, I will go through it.


Mwaka Abdalla

(Richard Chemuchuk) #34

Thanks very much Laura for this very powerful information, I hope that this will change the mind of authoritarian regimes in the world. kind regards Richard Chemuchuk.

(Makkah Yusuf) #35

Thanks @lauragoodwin Well, in Nairobi and pricesly in my community Kibra, the chiefs are no longer in charge of giving the late birth notifications for those who are born at home. Sometimes back they used to but not any more reason being that they (chiefs) were not returning the registration records back to the civil registry thus making the birth applications of the clients to be rejected. Also some of the cheifs were asking for bribes and end up registering the people who were not born in their jurisdiction thus giving false information. So the civil registry decided to do away with the chief’s notifications.

Us in Nubian Rights Forum always encourage our clients to bring the clinic cards that’s the Antenatal card for the mother and immunization card for the child because these are what is required for the birth certificate application. In cases where by these cards are missing we always ask the clients to go back to the clinics where they use to go and bring a stamped and signed attendance register, this is a register showing that they attended the said clinic or hospital @Tankiso maybe you can also try this way because it’s a direct proof of birth at a certain city, town, location, division and the entire country at large.

(Ali Hassan) #36

Great post and information, the only way now is to be taken into consideration. Paralegals and community should understand their roles. I am very much impressed to hear the information that the Global Legal Empowerment Network contributed their insights and experiences.

(Lambang Fonye Christian) #37

Thanks for this tremendous resource. I dound it extremely useful

(Seth Gazu) #38

Nice expose’. In my country (Nigeria), birth registration is carelessly regarded even in government hospitals. That is why it is difficult to have a comprehensive data containing information about the citizens which is very useful in policymaking. We hope that one day it will be mandatory to register births timeously and accurately.

(Bernard ThankGod) #39

I am quite interested please keep me posted. Bernard ThankGod

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