The Southern Refugee Legal Aid Network (SRLAN) was established in 2007 at a conference in Nairobi, Kenya. It was born out of a common understanding amongst its members that refugees are people with rights enshrined in international human rights and refugee law. However, those seeking asylum are often treated as passive victims with endless needs and their rights are regularly violated. The human suffering refugees endure often results from restrictions on their autonomy as human beings, and thus must be addressed by ensuring their ability to exercise basic rights. This is particularly challenging in the global south, where judicial institutions to redress rights violations are less developed and/or accessible. To remedy this, increasing numbers of organisations are conducting rights-based advocacy for refugees in the global south, through pro bono legal aid and/or research and policy advocacy. These organisations are bound by a common desire to foster respect for the rights of refugees in the global south.
These organisations are often unique in their countries and isolated from each other internationally. While they face common challenges, they have not had sufficient opportunities to learn from each other’s experiences. Slowly and informally, however, rights-based refugee organisations have been increasing their information sharing and coordinated advocacy. The Southern Refugee Legal Aid Network was thus initiated to formalise such cooperation, with a view to channelling disparate refugee rights organisations into a movement for refugee rights in the global south. At the time of inception, the SRLAN concluded the Nairobi Code by which all members of the Network agreed to abide. The SRLAN continues to develop and invites new members from the refugee legal aid world.
The Nairobi Code is an ethical standard for organizations providing legal aid to refugees.
The Nairobi Code is available in PDF format. En Español. En Français.
This page also provides training materials for law clinics and lawyers providing Pro Bono legal aid to refugees under the Nairobi Code.
The training materials are Nairobi Hypothetical Situations and Answers and Nairobi Code Discussion Leader’s Guide.
They are intended:
- for participants to learn the intricacies of the Nairobi Code and its principles;
- for participants to learn to apply the Nairobi Code in a variety of situations; and
- for participants to understand that if they think they have an ethical conflict with a client, they should seek advice!
Legal Ethics Video Training
These training materials were prepared by Asylum Access. You can find more training materials on our training materials page.