This post is part of 10 Weeks of Action: Demanding funding and protection for grassroots justice defenders by calling on our community to sign the #JusticeForAll petition. Each week, we will spotlight how access to justice is critical to the advancement of different thematic issues.
According to Louise Arbour, UN Special Representative for International Migration, “there can be no lasting peace without justice.”
Around the world, conflict remains one of the biggest barriers to sustainable peace, security, and sustainable development. It is estimated that the economic cost of conflict and violence was $14.76 trillion in 2017, or 12.4% of global GDP.
Access to justice is a critical component of addressing conflict and promoting peace and security. In many instances, conflicts arise from discrimination, corruption, and abuse of power by those who are enacting the state’s legal system. According to Saferworld, experiences of injustice fuel conflict and violent action. Promoting access to justice to strengthen rule of law, promote citizen engagement, and uphold human rights can help reduce one of the main drivers of conflict: abuse of power.
According to the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), justice is an essential component to transition societies from conflict to sustainable peace. This goes beyond strengthening rule of law to addressing abuses and promoting and respecting human rights. Additionally, justice can help build trust between governments, civil society, and citizens, a critical pillar towards sustainable peace.
Grassroots justice defenders work with their communities, including those living in conflict-affected and fragile contexts, to help them realize their rights and promote access to justice, which in turn, promotes lasting peace and sustainable development. Yet, grassroots justice defenders are under threat. They need funding and protection to continue their work.
Tell governments to fund and protect grassroots justice defenders who promote peace and security by signing the petition below.
Sign the Petition
Tell world leaders to fund and protect justice defenders.
We, the world’s justice defenders and citizens, call on world leaders to keep their promise, made at the United Nations, to ensure all people have equal access to justice. Only by funding and protecting grassroots justice defenders can we make justice, not injustice, the norm. The moment is now. It is time to tip the scales towards #JusticeForAll.
The number of signatures will be shared with governments during the UN General Assembly in September 2018.
- In Nicaragua in the early 2000s, mobile courts and community-based paralegals were credited with a 10 percent reduction in crime where the scheme operated. (Source)
- 2011 study by researchers from Harvard Kennedy School and the University of Queensland found that a world-class mining project (capital expenditure between $3 billion and $5 billion) stands to lose approximately $20 million per week in lost productivity as a result of production delays from social conflict.
- The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that the economic cost of conflict and violence was $14.3 trillion, equivalent to 12.6% of global GDP.
- In 2014, 1 out of 3 Latin Americans reported being a victim of violence crime and 5 out of 10 perceive that security in their country deteriorated.
How justice defenders are tackling the issue
- At least 4,224 people were killed by police officers in Brazil in 2016. While some police killings result from legitimate use of force, others are extrajudicial executions. In February 2016, Nossas received a video showing the police tossing the body of a young man into the back of a pick up truck. The man in the video was Igor Silva, just 19, killed by police in Maré, Rio. Nossas forwarded the video to the public prosecutor and a number of national and international media outlets. This helped to reverse the mainstream media narrative that all civilians killed by police are dangerous armed traffickers who deserved to die. Read more here.
- This article on foreign policy on how barefoot lawyers can restrain those abusing power
- United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250
- This blog series on peace and security
- Nossas Spark of hope story
- This report on operationalizing in terms of conflict, security, and development
- This report on free, prior, and informed consent in Africa
- The latest Global Peace Index
- This report on exploring the links between experiences of injustice and violent conflict