Developing a Human Rights-Based Corp of Syrian Legal Practitioners

The Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law has launched a new project that aims to develop a human rights-based corps of Syrian legal practitioners who can contribute to shaping the future of post-conflict Syria.

At the outset, the project would provide the opportunity to 30 Syrian refugees (students and legal professionals) in Lebanon to enroll in undergraduate and graduate law programs and receive specialised training at legal clinics and human rights centres.

“The hope is that when the conflict ends in Syria they would be able to return with knowledge and tools to participate in rebuilding the country, strengthening the rule of law and engaging positively in the justice sector,” says Carla Boukheir, director of RWI’s regional office in Amman.

Boukheir says the project is also uniquely designed and positioned to develop the capacity and leadership of refugees to contribute positively in their host countries today. The project will eventually expand to also Turkey and Jordan, covering three countries currently hosting over 4.5 million Syrian refugees.

The first phase of the project is jointly run by RWI and the Beirut Arab University in Lebanon. The project is part of a programme of the International Legal Assistance Consortium, and financially supported by Swedish Development Cooperation.

“Ultimately, it is anticipated that the program will nurture a generation of future positive change-makers that also can take part in identifying solutions to refugee situations,” says Boukheir.

Depending on the availability of funds, RWI will be offering support for two separate programs, a 4-year Bachelor programme and a 1-year Master programme.

Students who graduate will have an opportunity to pursue a career in law or other work for NGO’s and community-based initiatives or universities, as well as legal clinics and human rights centers.

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