Lillian Keene-Mugerwa

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2002
Platform for Labor Action (PLA)


This profile was prepared when Lillian Keene-Mugerwa was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2002.
The New Idea
Focusing initially on the rights of marginalized, highly vulnerable, and often undocumented workers in the informal sector, Lillian is undertaking a broad array of actions, including representing these workers in informal dispute resolution processes; advising, negotiating, bargaining, and representing clients in formal arbitration and mediation procedures; litigating to compel arbitration; serving as settlement counsel for clients; and drafting employment contracts. Lillian has focused particularly on addressing abuses of rights–like wrongful dismissal, breach of contract, and compensation for work-related injuries–for child and adult domestic workers. Other groups targeted for assistance include garage workers, fuel pump attendants, hawkers, plantation workers, and market vendors.
Lillian also engages in strategic litigation in instances where rights abuses in both the informal and formal sectors need to be addressed through new legislation, improved labor policies, and regulation at the national level. Such litigation is intended both to deter manipulation of workers by employers and to cause the government to take appropriate action. In the future, Lillian will offer training in labor rights for employers and trade union leaders. Her ideas are replicable throughout the region and beyond.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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