Multistakeholder Pledge: 2023 Global Legal Community
Commitments which form part of this multi-stakeholder pledge will increase refugees’ access to legal services and information by building a connected global legal community which centers the legal rights, skills, knowledge, and needs of refugees.
Commitments towards the 2023 Global Legal Community Pledge will:
- work in partnership to increase access to legal assistance and to resource and strengthen host community and refugee-led legal assistance and empowerment initiatives;
- increase access to legal assistance for refugee-led organizations (RLOs) and other organizations that work with displaced people to address their organizational and programmatic legal needs and to strengthen their legal and institutional capacity and resilience;
- fulfill these commitments through refugee inclusion and leadership, and to take action that is supportive of the wider refugee participation agenda;
- undertake legal advocacy, including strategic litigation, policy engagement, and legal assistance to advance systemic change to laws, policies, and practices that ensure the rights of refugees and other displaced people;
- provide direct financial and human resources or to undertake other efforts to support host community and refugee-led legal assistance and empowerment initiatives;
- work collaboratively in order to leverage networks, partnerships, and resources and to strengthen coordination, share knowledge, and monitor the impact of our efforts as diverse stakeholders within the global refugee legal ecosystem.
At the inaugural GRF in 2019, 83 private and public-sector legal stakeholders made a joint pledge - known as the 2019 Global Legal Community Pledge - to support efforts to protect and find solutions for refugees and others forcibly displaced, including by working together to leverage and increase resources available for legal assistance. Notably, private sector legal signatories collectively pledged to provide 127,000 pro bono hours annually towards this goal.
The Pledge, the first global multi-stakeholder initiative of its kind, has grown to include 114 signatories, while the commitment from the private sector signatories increased to 135,180 hours annually, which has been exceeded every year. The Pledge, coordinated by PILnet and a Core Group of Pledge signatories, has provided a valuable platform through which to mobilize, connect and support the global legal community to respond to forced displacement, including in recent situations of mass displacement from Afghanistan and Ukraine. With funding for a pilot project in Thailand, Pledge signatories also supported the development of a locally-led national-level coordination mechanism to mobilize new legal stakeholders within the legal community, which has successfully increased access to legal services for refugees.
Given strong interest from signatories to repledge at the GRF 2023, a second multi-stakeholder pledge is in development which builds on the success and lessons learnt from the 2019 Pledge and responds to developments in the refugee response sector since the first GRF, including calls for greater refugee participation.
The 2023 Joint Legal Community Pledge aims to garner increased commitments by existing signatories and to mobilize pledges from new stakeholders within the refugee legal ecosystem to increase refugees’ access to legal services and information around the globe.
This multi-stakeholder initiative will achieve this by:
- Mobilizing pledges by private and public legal stakeholders to provide a service, resource, or policy change to facilitate increased access to legal services and information.
- Building an integrated global refugee legal ecosystem which centers the legal rights, skills, knowledge and needs of refugees and directly involves refugees in the design, coordination and implementation of the pledge.
- Supporting the development of locally-led coordination efforts, to increase the engagement of and coordination between different legal stakeholders and advance collaboration and partnerships between refugee and legal communities.
This multidisciplinary pledging initiative will identify a small number of initial pilot countries where partners are already well-positioned to pilot coordination mechanisms or innovative new collaborative legal service or empowerment models to increase access to legal services and information.
PILnet and the Core Group will provide a guiding Framework to support the development of legal community pledges and, subject to funding, will provide coordination support for pledge implementation and monitoring.
- The Core Group (potentially to be reconfigured to reflect the multi-stakeholder nature of the Pledge)
Jasmine Simperingham, PILnet (Global Coordinator - Forced Displacement) - [email protected]
- 7 June: Announce 2023 Pledge at Informal GRF Briefing
- June - July: Consultative development of joint pledge and pledging framework
- July - September: Identification of pilot countries and participating partners
- 1 September: Pledge open for signature
- September - December: Pledge mobilization and development