Gender Based Violence (GBV)
We have initiated a project focusing on Gender Based Violence which will be rolled out through our three offices over the next five years. The project is informed by the need to address the crisis of gender based violence and femicide facing the country. We seek to provide legal support, awareness raising and capacity building for victims of GBV through the volunteer work of the legal profession in taking GBV cases and providing information through workshops and resources. ProBono.Org will partner with volunteer attorneys, the community advice offices and other NGOs to provide free legal services to clients who are impacted or affected.
We would like to encourage our panel of legal practitioners to be part of the project by conducting workshops, providing advice and taking on cases. Please sign up on the home page of our website if you have not already done so. We are grateful to the First Rand Empowerment Foundation for their support for this project.
Refugee Project Visit to Musina
The project paralegal in Johannesburg visited Musina and Polokwane from 26 to 29 September to conduct workshops to inform community members on the difference between the Refugee Appeals Authority of South Africa (RAASA) and the Standing Committee on Refugee Affairs (SCRA); their roles and duties; how to draft representations to the SCRA; and how to apply for asylum seeker certificates.
During our last visit in July, it became clear that the community advice office we work with required clarity on the appeal process given the number of rejections by the Refugee Status Determination Officer (RSDO) and how to note appeals.
Carol Lemekwana from Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) presented on the following topics:
- The difference between the functions of RAASA and SCRA/unfounded and manifestly unfounded process
- Drafting notices of appeal
- Drafting of representations to SCRA
In Polokwane, the Chairperson of SCRA, Jane Mugwena, was present and thanked ProBono. Org and LHR for inviting SCRA and giving them an opportunity to engage with the communities.
Participants were also given copies of pamphlets on Birth Registration for Asylum Seekers, Refugees & Foreign Nationals that were prepared for ProBono. Org by Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr and translated into isiZulu, tshiVenda and Shona.