Women with an immigrant background may lack knowledge of their legal rights. Therefore, there is a risk that their rights are not safeguarded and that they may suffer injustice without them seeking advice and help from the police and the legal system.
The Law Ambassador project aims to enable these women to understand that what they are experiencing may have a legal solution and that there are often various agencies that can provide help. The idea behind the project is that you need to know what your rights are to be able to seek legal aid to assert them.
Through the Law Ambassador project, JURK follows the so-called “train the trainers” model, which means that they provide legal training to resource persons, i.e., law ambassadors, in the Polish and Thai communities in Norway.
The Law Ambassadors pass on the information to women in their communities and networks. This is how JURK reaches out to other people and more people than they would have managed on their own.
JURK currently has between 40 and 45 law ambassadors and through them, they provide information about legal rights to between 800 and 1,000 people. The topics addressed include debt and economic abuse, legal rights in the event of divorce and death, and violence against women.
Since the law ambassadors live in the whole of Norway, they also reach clients across the country.
Objective and target group
The aim is that women from Thailand and Poland, who do not have the right and obligation to participate in the introduction scheme, receive customised training in various areas of law. In this way, they become familiar with their rights and obligations in Norway and thus are better able to assert their rights and to make informed and free legal choices.
About the initiative
JURK uses the “train the trainers” model, which means that resource persons from Thai and Polish women’s clubs throughout Norway meet every year for a seminar that addresses a legal topic. During the seminar, they receive training in giving a standardised lecture and receive brochures on the topic. These law ambassadors then give lectures and disseminate information in their own women’s networks. JURK also visits various local groups to give lectures, provide updated information and receive specific cases from the ambassadors or women in their network. The ambassadors receive ongoing follow-up by phone, email or meetings.
The information material the law ambassadors have is based on long experience and research on disseminating information on legal rights to minority women. Since its establishment in 1974, JURK has provided legal counselling to women and has established a sound knowledge of how best to reach immigrant women.
The topics in which JURK provides training are chosen from input received from the law ambassadors about issues that concern women in the Polish and Thai communities. This helps to ensure that the law ambassadors receive relevant training and that the information they pass on is relevant to the target groups and in line with their needs.
The law ambassadors are mainly recruited through law ambassadors who are already associated with the Law Ambassador project. JURK also seeks out areas where the women gather, such as clubs and organisations, Norwegian language training classes, network meetings, women’s cafés and public offices.
Organisation and economy
JURK runs the Law Ambassador project with funding from the Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi). JURK is a voluntary and non-profit organisation affiliated with the Faculty of Law at the University of Oslo. The General Meeting is their supreme body and elects board members, adopts amendments to the by-laws and deals with budgets and accounts. The board is responsible for the salary and terms and conditions of appointment for the general manager, manages budgets and accounts, determines the business strategy and more.
The Law Ambassador project is rooted in JURK’s strategy (2019–2022). A project manager employed by JURK leads the project and has the overall responsibility for project management.
IMDi supports the project through the funding scheme "Funding for integration work under the auspices of NGOs", which is announced annually.
The law ambassadors reach women who, due to language barriers or lack of knowledge of the Norwegian regulations, are reluctant to seek help. They would probably not have sought legal aid on their own. The law ambassadors have a good cultural understanding and a large network. Therefore, they can disseminate information on legal rights in a way that is well adapted to the Polish and Thai women’s networks. This contributes to stronger networks and helps people help themselves.
Women from Thailand and Poland will be better able to assert their rights and make informed and free legal choices.
The target group live scattered throughout Norway, from the county of Troms and Finnmark in the north to Agder in the south. Thanks to good cooperation with the law ambassadors, JURK has disseminated information to a great many women across the country.
The “train the trainers” model is a well-known model that is used by many different enterprises to disseminate information, knowledge and awareness. The model thus has transfer value and can be particularly suitable for disseminating knowledge and awareness to groups that can be difficult to reach.
IMDi finds that JURK works systematically and knowledge-based, which contributes to a high quality of the work on competence development of the law ambassadors.
The information material the law ambassadors have is based on long experience and research on disseminating information on the legal rights to minority women.
JURK’s recommendations are research-based. The information they convey is comprehensible, available, relevant and quality assured.
IMDi’s finds that that leadership support and strategic anchors are a good recipe for success for more people than JURK and the law ambassadors. The same applies to the systematic evaluation of initiatives and projects that JURK implements. JURK adjusts and develops the initiative to ensure the best possible goal achievement.
About the assessment
IMDi’s quality assurance of best practice has been based on systematic assessments according to given criteria.
The criteria are:
- Result – what result does the practice produce?
- Descriptions – is the practice well described?
- Economy – what resources are required to implement the practice?
- Transferability – is it possible to implement the practice elsewhere?
The perspective on knowledge-based practice forms the basis for IMDI’s best practice work. It means that practices are assessed based on: Research-based knowledge, experience-based knowledge and user knowledge.
IMDi’s work on best practice is based on Rambøll’s report Model for identification and dissemination of best practice
Name: Veronika Wiese
Position and place of work: Legal Adviser in JURK and project manager for the Law Ambassador project
Tel.: +47 95 91 80 63