Microjustice Rwanda (MJR) was started in 2011 in order to bring MJ4All Services to Rwanda. During its first months, MJR focused on improving cross-border trade within the context of the East African Community (EAC), specifically regarding small scale traders at the Rwandan – Ugandan border around Gatuna/Katuna. As part of this project, MJR supported cross-border traders and those that depend on and benefit from the trade (e.g. truck drivers) with regards to their legal issues. Most of the legal issues MJR dealt with had to do with a lack of information on the side of border officials about the latest legal developments, but also helped address the lack of knowledge of their legal rights and obligations and the distrust of government officials on the side of traders and entrepreneurs.
In 2014, MJR started working with Spark on identifying the legal obstacles and challenges that businesses in Rwanda generally struggle with. It has conducted an in-depth needs assessment to that effect and is now in the process of developing services and products to address the identified needs, especially for SMEs.
In the same year, MJR has started implementation of a project in cooperation with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch embassy in Rwanda. Aiming to build a sustainable legal infrastructure in Rwanda and providing legal services to marginalized people and especially women, MJR has opened several legal services points (outlets) in Kigali and Rwanda’s Norther Province. As part of this project MJR is providing legal education (trainings and workshops), awareness raising and outreach activities and personalized legal advice and case solution. Since the start of the project in December 2014, MJR has provided legal advice to more than a thousand people and taken up more than 50 cases to solve. In terms of legal areas, MJR currently focuses mostly on:
- civil documentation (e.g. birth certificates and birth registration),
- family law (e.g. succession matters or recognition of children),
- land rights (e.g. land sale agreements or title deed transfers), and
- business related rights (e.g. sales and purchase agreements, employment contracts, etc.).
As part of its efforts to increase access to justice and basic rights for people in Rwanda, MJR is systematically collecting data and evidence to identify obstacles in accessing justice and assess people’s experiences with the Rwandan justice sector. This data is then used for evidence-based lobbying in order to improve the systems and processes for accessing justice for a large amount of people from the Rwandan society.
For more information
- Visit the website: www.microjusticerwanda.org