Research & Advocacy

We believe that a lot of what needs to change isn’t the girls and women we support, but the system and society that they’re trapped within. We seek to change this in the long term through advocating for changes to the legal and welfare system, lobbying for amendments to laws and campaigning for social changes for women.

Since our inception in 2006 we have had some key successes to create long term changes to the legal system.

Photo by Michael Duff

We have campaigned for and seen the introduction of:

  • Securing the release of four women from death row through legal appeals or campaigns, including MK
  • The Government’s commitment to abolish the death penalty and an official moratorium on executions
  • A new Legal Aid Act
  • A new Correctional Services Act
  • Two separate detention facilities for women
  • The first prison library in Pademba Road Prison
  • Nominated for an Innovating Justice prize for our innovative legal education TV series, Police Case
  • Second winner of the Namati Justice Prize in 2015

We have also advocated for a social welfare policy that ensures better treatment of children imprisoned with their mothers; whilst not yet officially in place, we are working towards this.

We created the first handbook in Africa on the Bangkok Rules (UN Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners) and regularly conduct trainings for prison and police officers to enhance knowledge and practice of these rules as well as working to reform existing rules and practices.

During the 2014/15 Ebola outbreak, we played a pivotal role in maintaining justice within a period of unprecedented health chaos. With the country under an official State of Emergency, new laws were introduced, curfews imposed, lockdowns conducted and marginalised communities targeted under wider police powers.

AdvocAid continued to operate during the Ebola crisis ensuring vital legal aid provision. We dispatched our staff during lockdowns to ensure legal rights were maintained and we campaigned tirelessly for the release of eight Kono residents detained without charge. Read our ‘Stay at Home‘ report detailing findings and key recommendations from the ‘lockdown’ reporting.

Our work to maintain human and legal rights during Ebola has been covered by both The Guardian and Voice of America. We also contributed to this Amnesty International Press Release on human rights abuses during Ebola.