This July, Duncan Lewis Solicitors are sending Toufique Hossain, Director of Public Law, and Patrick Page, a caseworker in that department, to work in the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement of central Uganda.
Kiryandongo is managed by the UNHCR, providing shelter, land, and support to more than 100,000 refugees from Kenya, DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan. There has recently been a massive influx of refugees from South Sudan, as a result of the ongoing civil war in that country, causing a strain on the services of the settlement, especially education.
Toufique and Patrick will be working alongside the Xavier Project, an NGO that promotes accessibility to education for refugees, of all ages, in Kenya and Uganda. Our lawyers will be teaching a course based on the Refugee Convention, covering issues from the legal definition of a refugee to the rights of refugees in a host country. They will also be putting together a report on conditions in the Ugandan refugee camps of Kiryandongo and Rwamwanja, making connections with experts in the field who may be able to assist UK-based asylum law practitioners in the future.
In addition to the course, they will also be assisting the Xavier Project in their ‘Kiryandongo Peace Camp’, an extracurricular programme based around the subjects of peace and community building. Healing trauma and addressing other issues arising from current conflict in South Sudan will be a focal point of the programme.
Toufique will be drawing on his experience of teaching classes on the Refugee Convention at the UN school in New York, while Patrick will be using his knowledge of conversational Arabic to communicate with the South Sudanese who make up the majority of the refugee population in the settlement.
They will be sending us regular updates of their work, via email and Twitter. Watch this space!