Around the world, 1.1 billion people lack legal identity documentation, such as birth certificates, ID cards, and passports that can help prove their nationality or entitlement to citizenship. Without proof of citizenship, these individuals cannot vote, access health care, or go to school. Some are even left stateless or at risk of becoming so.
Citizenship is a foundational human right but in many countries gaining access to identity documents that prove citizenship can be difficult or even impossible. The process is complicated by lack of information, confusing bureaucratic processes, poor implementation of the law, or sometimes even outright discrimination.
Community paralegal programs have demonstrated that a legal empowerment approach to securing legal identity documentation is effective in countries around the world. Community paralegals help people to understand the laws, navigate tangled bureaucracies, and challenge discriminatory policies.
Namati and Open Society Justice Initiative, in cooperation with UNHCR, have developed a comprehensive guide to expand and strengthen paralegal and other community-based programs worldwide. “A Community-based Practitioner’s Guide: Documenting Citizenship and Other Forms of Legal Identity” draws from the experience of programs in more than 24 countries. It’s designed for practitioners who may be considering adopting a legal empowerment approach to respond to citizenship rights challenges, or for those already working with paralegals who want to incorporate new lessons to enhance implementation.
The handbook uses cases studies, infographics, and tools to guide readers through critical steps such as determining whether a paralegal approach is contextually appropriate, building the right paralegal team, developing case forms and other data collection processes, and involving communities in advocating for national-level policy change.
A number of Global Legal Empowerment Network members contributed their insights, experiences, and tools to the development of this guide. We look forward to further collaboration as we continue the conversation on using legal empowerment to promote citizenship and legal identity documentation around the globe.
Last updated January 30, 2013.
You must register in order to upload Tools to the Tools Database, obtain full access to Tools, participate in discussion forums and fully utilize any networking functions on the Site. To register, you must be 18 years or older, have the requisite power and authority to enter into the Terms, truthfully and accurately provide all required information, including a legitimate email address, and obtain a unique username and password.
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Our Site includes a combination of content that we, our users and other third parties create (collectively, the “Content”). All of the Content available through the Site including, but not limited to, written content, photographs, graphics, images, illustrations, marks, logos, sound or video clips, and animations, is trademarked or copyright protected. Content posted to the Tools Database at namati.org/tools (such content, the “Tools”) is intended to be used as part of a platform provided for practitioners to share experiences and resources, including, but not limited to, research, training materials, monitoring and evaluation tools, case management systems and advocacy strategies. You may use a Tool to assist in performing issue advocacy consistent with the mission of Namati as published at https://namati.org/about/our-mission (the “Mission”), provided that your use of a Tool must in no way violate any law of the jurisdiction in which such Tool is used. Except as permitted herein, you may not use, store, display, modify, reproduce, publish, transmit, participate in the transfer or sale of, create derivative works of, distribute, publicly perform, publicly display or in any way exploit any of the materials or content on the Site in whole or in part.
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The Site is intended to provide general information about Namati, its mission of legal empowerment and programs and research which we support and to provide practitioners with an online network for the sharing of resources and experiences, including research, training materials, monitoring and evaluation tools, case management systems and advocacy strategies. The Site is not engaged in the provision of professional advice or information. Content posted on the Site should be considered as opinion only and should not be taken as a substitute for, without limitation, legal or other professional advice from a qualified service provider. We make no representations or warranties concerning any action taken by any person in reliance on the information provided through the Site. We will not be liable for any damages that may result, including but not limited to direct, indirect, consequential, special or other damages or economic loss, illness, injury or death.
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Materials may be made available through the Site by third parties who are not under our control. Namati respects the copyright interests of others and, as such, requires our users to comply with all Terms regarding copyrights. It is our policy to terminate user accounts for failure to comply with our copyright policy.
If you believe that any Content shown on or transmitted through the Site violates these Terms or your copyright please report the violation. In the case of a copyright violation please provide a written notice with a physical or electronic signature and the following information:
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It is often difficult to determine if your intellectual property rights have been violated. We may request additional information before we remove allegedly infringing material.
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Our failure to exercise or enforce any right or provision of these Terms shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision.
You agree that regardless of any statute or law to the contrary, any claim or cause of action arising out of or related to use of the Site or these Terms must be filed within one (1) month after such claim or cause of action arose or it will be forever barred.
If any part of these Terms is determined to be invalid or unenforceable pursuant to applicable law, then the invalid or unenforceable provision will be deemed superseded by a valid, enforceable provision that most closely matches the intent of the original provision and the remainder of the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.
Last updated: May 25, 2018
This Policy describes our privacy practices and sets out your obligations and ours with respect to your use of the Site and the Forum. This Policy applies only to the Site and the Forum and does not necessarily apply to our offline collection of information.
Namati may collect and retain two types of information about Site and Forum visitors: (i) personal information that individual visitors voluntarily provide when interacting on the Site or Forum or on certain other occasions (such as via forms or in emails); and (ii) tracking data, which is data that is automatically collected from every Site and Forum visitor as they use and browse the site.
We may, from time to time, store and archive the information you submit to or through the Site and Forum. The information that we gather may include your name, title, and address, telephone number, email address, credit card number or other elements of personal information. In addition, if you contact us, we may keep a record of your correspondence, including any information contained therein.
You may decline to provide any personal information, but please realize that you thereby may be unable to register or to participate in activities or services offered on the Site and/or Forum.
In addition to the information you submit to or through the Site and Forum, we also may collect and store data from and about you gathered in the course of your use of the Site and Forum. We call this “tracking data.”
Such tracking data may include, but is not limited to, information regarding the number and frequency of visits to the Site and Forum, the websites that you access before and after you visit the Site and Forum, the software and operating system used to access the Site and Forum, and your IP address and Internet service provider.
Our use of your Information involves various forms of communication with you, including:
We will not disclose any personal information to third parties, except:
Information provided to third parties is limited to the information needed to perform their functions. We seek to limit third-party use of information; however, we are not responsible for such third-party use of information.
We retain the right to transfer or assign all information pursuant to a merger, purchase or other transaction relating to Namati or our assets.
The current list of third-party service providers we use include:
Personal information you submit via your member account, other than information provided or content posted by you to public areas of the Site as described below, is deleted from Namati’s records following the deletion of your account. However, such information may continue to be retained by third-party service providers to which it has been disclosed for one of the reasons listed above.
Your Information is stored on Digital Ocean servers in New York, USA.
We take reasonable precautions to protect your information from loss, misuse or alteration. You should recognize, however, that there is no such thing as “perfect security” on the Internet, and we cannot guarantee the security of your information. In addition, because Internet communications are unsecure, it is also possible that the information you supply to us or your access of any information via the Site will be intercepted during transmission. We are not liable for any breach of our systems or interception of our transmission, and we hereby fully disclaim, to the fullest extent possible under law, any liability associated with any claim relating to a breach of security, data or information.
You should be aware that any information provided or content posted by you to public areas of the Site, including but not limited to interactions on the Site and information posted to the Member Directory (via your profile), the Tools Database and the Forum, may be read, collected or used by other visitors of the Site, who may not need to log in as a member to view the information. Namati is not responsible for the third-party use of any information provided in such manner. By participating in the use of the Site’s interactive features, you consent to Namati’s use or disclosure of any content that you submit. For more information on posting content, please see our Terms.
The Forum uses data about your posts and other activity to make automated decisions about whether your posts are spam.
The Forum may also use data about your posts and activity to award you badges and calculate a trust level for your account. Your trust level may affect how you can participate in the Forum, such as whether you can upload images, as well as give you access to moderation and management powers in the Forum. Your trust level, therefore, reflects Forum administrators’ confidence in you, and their willingness to delegate community management functions, like moderation.
From time to time, we may email users of the Site or the Forum information regarding important developments affecting Namati and/or the Global Legal Empowerment Network. We may also email users on occasion regarding the Site or the Forum. Such emails may be sent to users of the Site or Forum even if they have not requested to receive any communication from us.
You may choose to unsubscribe from future emails by using the unsubscribe link included in all mass email correspondence from Namati and the Global Legal Empowerment Network.
If a user elects to use our referral service to inform a friend about the Site and Forum, we request the name and email address of the friend. Namati will automatically send the friend a one-time email inviting the friend to visit the Site. Namati stores this information for the sole purpose of sending this one-time email, and, while a third-party mail service provider may retain the information in its database, no additional emails will be sent by Namati without further action by the friend.
Because Namati is concerned about the privacy protection of children who access the Internet, we comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Accordingly, the Site and Forum are not intended for use by anyone under the age of 13, and we do not knowingly collect information from anyone under 13 years of age without the consent of a parent or guardian.
We reserve the right to disclose any information to comply with any law, regulation, decree, judgment, order, subpoena or any other governmental order (“Order”) without any obligation to contest or verify the accuracy of such Order.
This Policy will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York, without regard to any principles of conflicts of law. You agree that any action at law or in equity that arises out of or relates to any use of the Site will be filed only in the state or federal courts located in New York County, and you hereby consent and submit to the personal jurisdiction of such courts for the purposes of litigating any such action.
The section titles in this Policy are for convenience only and have no legal or contractual effect.
The Site, the Forum, and any third party services they use, may be subject to additional terms and conditions regarding privacy and use of information. Your use of the Site and the Forum is subject to those terms and conditions, which are incorporated into this Policy by reference. In the event of an inconsistency between this Policy and any additional posted conditions, the provisions of the additional conditions shall control.
We may need to change the Policy from time to time in order to address new issues and to reflect changes on the Site or in the law. We reserve the right to revise or make any changes to the Policy, and your continued use of the Site subsequent to any changes to this Policy will mean that you agree to and accept such changes. You can tell if the Policy has been updated by checking the last revised date posted on the top of this page.
You can also access, remove, update or correct your information, and raise any questions or concerns regarding the Site or the Policy, by emailing email@example.com, or mailing:
Namati Data Protection Officer
1616 P Street NW, Suite 101
Washington, DC 20036, USA
If you live in a country which has adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (EU; 2016/679), you have a right to lodge a complaint with your relevant supervisory authority about this policy and its application.
The Policy was updated in May 2018 to comply with the General Data Protection Regulations.