Information, advice and legal assistance (ICLA)

Legal and institutional frameworks, whether statutory, customary or religious, can either cause or perpetuate displacement and discrimination, or serve as instruments of protection and empowerment. People affected by displacement need help to understand, interpret and navigate these frameworks.

NRC’s ICLA programs aim to enable people affected by displacement to claim and exercise their rights and find durable solutions. ICLA also aims to prevent the movement of people at risk. ICLA’s activities are implemented in accordance with international humanitarian protection standards and principles. They promote understanding and respect for the rights of affected people and the obligations of duty bearers under international law.

Our expertise in ICLA

Our ICLA activities help people claim and exercise their rights through information, advice, legal assistance, collaborative dispute resolution, capacity building and advocacy. ICLA programs may engage in matters of public interest, if doing so results in a direct positive effect for a greater number of individuals or creates legal precedents that can generate positive structural change.

ICLA may use international litigation mechanisms when local remedies have been exhausted or are ineffective. ICLA also advocates at all levels, including international bodies, to pursue the goal of promoting respect for the rights of people affected by displacement.

ICLA programs respect local legal, cultural, and social norms without compromising our commitment to promote and uphold the rights established by international law. This includes the use of judicial or administrative remedies, customary or religious mechanisms, collaborative dispute resolution methodologies and transitional justice mechanisms.

Since women and children may face particular barriers to accessing their rights, we provide specific assistance to address them.

ICLA focuses on six thematic areas:

  • housing, land and property (HLP) rights
  • legal identity (LID), including obtaining the civil and identity documents necessary to access rights and services
  • immigration and refugee laws and procedures, including refugee status determination and legal residency
  • government legal procedures and policies for registration of internally displaced persons, where access to rights and services depends on such registration
  • labor laws and procedures
  • access to essential services

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