Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation
Identity documents are a fundamental feature of modern daily life; they enable us all to participate in society and to access essential services and entitlements. Given the circumstances in which refugees are often forced to leave their home countries, their identity documents are very often lost or left behind. The absence of identity documents and other supporting paperwork is one of the biggest obstacles faced by refugees who seek to substantiate a claim for asylum.TrustLaw member ASKV Refugee Support provides legal assistance and social support to rejected asylum seekers in the Netherlands. A large share of the asylum seekers they help on a daily basis have had their first application for asylum rejected on the basis of not having the correct supporting documents. To compound the problem, procedures in countries of origin for obtaining replacement identity documents and other necessary paperwork are often unclear and difficult to navigate.
This series of country manuals is being developed to set out the procedure of obtaining replacement documents for asylum seekers in countries of origin in a clear and practical way, with Uganda being the first to be finalised and other upcoming chapters to include Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan. The Uganda country manual aims to assist lawyers, caseworkers, and field workers in their efforts to retrieve documents from Uganda.
TrustLaw connected ASKV with law firm Latham and Watkins who have been the lead law firm working pro bono with local counsel in each of the jurisdictions. This particular manual was worked on together with local Ugandan law firm MMAKS Advocates and Independent Consultant and Visiting Senior Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Dr. Bronwen Manby.