UNHCR in partnership with the Universities of Bule Hora, Dila and Wollega provides legal aid to and raises legal awareness among internally displaced persons (IDPs), returning IDPs and members of the host community with specific needs. The 19 legal aid clinics of the three law schools provide legal aid and awareness services in East and West Wollega, Gedeo and West Guji zones of Oromia and SNNP regions.
■ Providing quality legal services: Legal aid and awareness are critical protection services. They are needed to ensure people know their rights, to address challenges IDPs and others in need face in obtaining and restoring identity and civil documentation and housing, land and property rights, as well as to facilitate access to justice, including for survivors of gender-based violence. The services provided included awareness-raising sessions, provision of legal information, legal counselling and advice, legal assistance as well as legal representation before courts, tailored to the needs of the community and individuals.
■ Supporting IDPs in achieving durable solutions: Internally displaced people need a long-term solution to their situation. Being able to access justice, receive needed documentation and have land and property rights restored is an important step towards a durable solution.
■ Leveraging expertise through local partnerships: The partnership with the Universities of Bule Hora, Dila, Wollega and now Arba-Minch is very valuable in creating conditions to leverage local legal expertise for quality services to people in need.