In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, grassroots justice defenders have had to quickly adjust their ways of working in order to continue supporting communities and clients. In many cases, they have also adapted the services they provide in order to address the injustices that the pandemic has created and unveiled.
To identify how best we can support these grassroots justice groups, the Justice For All campaign and the Legal Empowerment Network launched the COVID-19 Justice Challenge. We asked Network members about the challenges they were facing, how they were adapting, and what support they would need to more effectively serve their communities. Over 90 groups from more than 30 countries took part.
Five key takeaways:
1. The biggest challenges grassroots justice groups are facing relate to remote working (49%) and financial limitations (47%).
2. Despite new challenges and difficulties, 91% grassroots groups have managed to continue supporting their communities by adapting their ways of working.
3. They have mainly shifted their focus to and concentrated their adaptations on the following areas: a) advocacy work; b) humanitarian emergency & response; c) data collection, monitoring and reporting about COVID-19-related needs and human rights violations; d) awareness raising and fighting misinformation; and e) remote legal assistance and training.
4. The majority of groups (78%) have ideas or initiatives in mind to better support communities but cannot implement them due to lack of resources, support or skills.
5. Most respondents said they would need less than US$10,000 to implement their ideas.
The full publication of the results of COVID-19 Justice Challenge provides quantitative and qualitative data. It is a valuable tool for those advocating for greater resources and support for grassroots justice defenders, and for those looking for inspiration and ideas on how to adapt their work.
View and download the PDF here.