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Sunday, 20 October 2019
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JUDICIAL OFFICERS TRAINED IN REFUGEE LAW

The Judicial Training Institute (JTI) in collaboration with the Refugee Law Project (RLP) organized a one day training for 30 Judicial officers at Bomah Hotel in Gulu. The training was an occasion to increase awareness on forced migration and merging trends under the theme “Serving Refugee-Host Relations in Northern Uganda through Enhanced Protection”.

The Resident Judge of Gulu Hon.Justice Vincent Okwang noted that refugees most often than not find themselves coming here due to not too good circumstances prevailing in their countries and hence find themselves here not as tourists, migrants, asylum seekers or even settlers but as refugees whose status  and interest has to be carefully understood and handled.

 

He also added, “ judicial officers belong to that arm of the state with the constitutional mandate to resolve disputes and more often than not you come across or you will come across these category of persons(refugees) in conflict with the Law .How to deal with this category of persons requires that you be sufficiently empowered and skilled to deal with the rights and obligations of hosts of refugees and refugees themselves for by virtue of your offices you are required to treat all manner of people who become before you equally and fairly.”

He urged the participants to get interested in Refugee Rights and Protection in the Northern and west Nile regions following the recent influx in the number of forced migrants accessing these regions.

At the training, a number of topics were explored such as; Introduction to forced migration and legal frameworks on the protection of refugees and asylum seekers, Rights and obligations of refugees and asylum seekers while in Uganda, challenges faced by refugees in Uganda’s justice systems among others.

Uganda currently hosts an estimated number of 1.3 refugees and asylum seekers majority of whom originate from the Great Lakes and Horn of African Regions. They are in a very vulnerable situation such as the risk of arrest, detention and other forms of abuses.

Funded by the Royal Netherlands Embassy, this training is part of a large capacity building programme developed by the Refugee Law Project of the School of law Makerere University (RLP) that has been working closely with forced migrants particularly on issues relating to access to Justice for refugees specifically, their rights and obligations, refugee status determination and Legal counseling.

                                                                                        

 

 

           

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