Many universities, law schools and NGOs run programmes offering free legal advice and assistance. Legal clinics vary widely in their reach and focus; some may offer only direct service to individuals, while others are willing to undertake broader legal assistance including children’s rights work. Where these organisations work with children, they can be an invaluable resource to uphold children’s rights. With this in mind, CRIN has produced a number of resources on legal clinics to help those seeking advice and for organisations looking to develop their legal advocacy.
Directory of children’s rights legal clinics in the European Union
This directory, assembled by researchers at CRIN, provides a mapping of legal clinics with a specific focus on children’s rights clinics in the European Union. It is meant to serve as a guideline for children seeking free legal advice in order to claim their rights and to constitute a resource for students, lawyers and activists interested in learning about the functioning of legal clinics.
Legal clinic case study
In September 2014, Shoruq Organisation, with the support of CRIN, opened a legal clinic in Dheisheh Refugee Camp in the Bethlehem Governorate of the West Bank. The clinic aims to provide comprehensive support to refugee children involved in the criminal justice system of the Palestinian Authority, from legal advice and representation in police stations and courtrooms, to counselling and follow-up in schools and the community.
At the outset of the project, CRIN and Shoruq decided to document the pilot phase of the project and publish the results. By frankly recording the process of establishing the clinic, the problems faced and the way they were overcome, we hope to help other organisations seeking to launch legal clinic projects to protect and promote children’s rights.