Legal Resources Foundation is a registered non-governmental organisation that was formed in 1984. The Legal Resources Foundation works to improve the access to justice for ordinary marginalised Zimbabweans. The Legal Resources Foundation (LRF) works to improve access to justice and promote human rights in Zimbabwe. The organisation believes that facilitating access to the legal system can advance human rights in Zimbabwe. LRF works in the areas of children’s rights, disability rights, women’s rights, education and human rights. The LRF works with disadvantaged groups particularly women, marginalized communities, ethnic and linguistic minority groups and children empowering them through provision of information and legal advice. The LRF reaches its target group through legal education and legal services. Underprivileged people obtain free legal advice and assistance from lawyers and paralegals in 19 offices located in all of Zimbabwe’s 10 provinces. LRF has a physical presence in Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East, Manicaland, Harare, Bulawayo Metropolitan, Matabeleland South, Matabeleland North, Midlands and Masvingo.
The LRF also works with state institutions and independent commissions to strengthen the justice system, building capacities of officials responsible for the administration and delivery of justice. Workshops with community leaders that include chiefs and headmen contribute to sustainability of interventions as the community leaders play a multiplier role in the community. Community outreaches provide platforms for people, mostly in the rural areas, to talk about legal issues which affect their daily lives. This has led to a significant reduction in the cases of human rights violations in targeted areas. The LRF achieves this
through capacity building and training of officials responsible for the administration and delivery of justice. LRF envisions a Zimbabwe where human rights are upheld and all people have access to justice and human rights. The LRF also gathers evidence from its interventions and uses the information and data to engage with appropriate players in the justice delivery sector to advocate for law and policy reform. The information produced and disseminated by the LRF on different legal topics (e.g. Declaration of Rights;
Sexual Offences; Wills; Children’s Rights, Roles and Responsibilities of elected officials, Birth Certificates; HIV/ AIDS and the Law) make the LRF a legal hub in Zimbabwe assisting the marginalised in communities. This material is available in English, Shona, Ndebele, Shangani, Braille, sign language videos and audio format. Pamphlets, leaflets and posters are an integral part of the LRF’s outreach work, providing information on key legal and human rights issues for the layperson, with solutions and procedures to
guide people as they resolve the issues troubling them. The information, education and communication materials (IEC) developed by the LRF’s Legal Publications Unit remains in the communities for referral and use beyond the immediate beneficiaries.
LRF aims to contribute to Law & Policy Reform through advocacy, research, public interest litigation, strategic litigation and stakeholder capacity building. Recently the organization has been involved in the campaign on ending sexual violence in tertiary institutions of Zimbabwe and the campaign on access to documentation.