This the principal program at HRAPF. It was modified by the new strategic plan 2013-2017 from the Law Reform Program of the 2010-2012 strategic plan. Its major objective is to promote sustainable access to justice in Uganda specifically to sexual minorities, poor women and children living with HIV/AIDS and poor men and women and the elderly. It focuses on provision pro-bono legal aid services to marginalised groups in the areas of criminal justice, land justice, family justice (HIV/AIDS related) and: sexual and gender based violence.
The program uses legal assistance, strategic interest litigation, research and documentation, legal and human rights education and information, education and communication material development and legal aid advocacy to enhance access to justice for marginalized persons in Uganda.
Interventions under this program are;
i) Provision of pro-bono legal assistance
HRAPF provides free legal aid services to marginalised groups. These are: legal representation, legal advice, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and police/prison visits. HRAPF reaches out to the target groups through community outreach sessions and mobile legal aid camps. HRAPF cooperates with key community groups representing marginalised groups, as well as individual persons facing legal challenges to implement the interventions. HRAPFoperates a legal aid clinic with well trained professional lawyers to offer legal aid to marginalised people throughout the year.
ii) Documentation and advocacy
This is an integral part of legal aid service provision. Systematic problems arising out provision of legal aid are documented into situation reports. It also documents the trends and patterns of abuse and knowledge gaps among marginalised groups. The legal aid clinic also operates and maintains a computerised database on the cases that they work on all the time.
HRAPF conducts research on thematic issues affecting the target communities. The reports generated are used as advocacy tools for reform in spaces such as parliament and mandated government bodies on issues of land, health, justice among others.
The findings of these reports are also used to feed in the Legislative Advocacy and Networking program by highlighting issues for legal reform. It therefore provides an inter-linkage between the two programs.
iv) Capacity strengthening and technical support for marginalised groups
This is the last activity under the Access to Justice Program. The major interventions undertaken under this activity are: Paralegal trainings, legal and human rights awareness and resource center as well as provision of technical support.