In view of the fact that migrant workers and refugees are vulnerable groups of any society, ensuring that they have access to legal aid is critical to guaranteeing that they lead a dignified life and form an organic part of host societies. Based on ARDD’s 15 years of legal aid experience, multiple research projects, and analysis, and based on consultations with the Committee on migrant workers and refugees in Jordan*, the brief proposes 10 recommendations to promote effective access to legal aid and, through it, enjoy a dignified life:
1) Invest in quality data gathering through targeted research in order to identify legal challenges faced by and opportunities available to migrant workers and refugees.
2) Make known specific vulnerabilities by providing disaggregated data, with particular attention to categories such as gender, age, nationality, ethnicity, and health conditions.
3) Pursue a diversified education approach (targeting various sectors of society) through legal sessions on (a) the rights and legal means available to migrant workers and refugees, (b) the added value and richness brought by diverse communities to the host society at large.
4) Use legal aid opportunities to strengthen the capacity of networks of migrant workers and refugees, and grassroots organizations working with them.
5) Build effective partnerships with institutional actors, lawmakers, policymakers, law-enforcement agents, and courts, to give effect to the internationally recognized rights of migrant workers and refugees.
6) Access communities by forming mediators and representatives to act as a “bridge” between people in need and providers of legal services.
7) Promote meetings and better coordination with institutional actors and non-governmental organizations to support legal access, as well as access to services for migrant workers and refugees.
8) Support setting up and or strengthening institutional infrastructures that can facilitate vulnerable people’s access to legal aid, and support the work provided by pro bono lawyers.
9) Maintain an effective partnership with international donors and agencies so as to enhance ownership of responses (i.e. localized responses to local crises).
10) Involve media and social media in promoting a fair account of the reality experienced by refugees and migrant workers.
*This committee, including 30 representatives of various non-national (migrant worker and refugee) communities in Jordan, is set up and supported through the
ARDD’s Haquna project.