Impact by Regions, Countries & Territories
UNDP’s Global Programme supports crisis-affected contexts across all regions to strengthen the rule of law and human rights. In this section, we present five regional overviews, detailing our priorities and approach depending on the context, as well as feature select country and territory results from 2021.
Five contexts from the list (Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Mali and Yemen) illustrate the achievements of the Global Focal Point for the Rule of Law (GFP). In peacekeeping missions and transition settings, UNDP’s Global Programme works through the GFP to deliver integrated assistance with our UN partners.
GFP Global Focal Point Highlights
The rule of law is essential for sustainable peace and resilient economies, as well as for the prevention or recurrence of conflict. To prevent or address injustice, inequalities or democratic deficits, UNDP works with multiple stakeholders to operate in a way that is consistent with the rule of law and creates opportunities for all individuals to exercise their rights and access justice.
The importance of strong institutions is more evident than ever as countries and communities respond to disruption, whether because of public health restrictions, climate change or political upheaval. Limitations on public gatherings and travel have revealed the need for institutions that are resilient to disruption.
2021 was a pivotal year that saw various developments affecting peace and security around the world. Civic space continued to shrink and the social contract between states and citizens was increasingly challenged, particularly during and after the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Facing distressing consequences of climate change, states and communities are forced to manage more cross-border conflicts, triggered by the displacement of people seeking increasingly scarce resources.
The scope of human rights challenges is widening, from eroded public trust and shrinking civic space to ongoing inequality and human rights impacts in the socio-economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, and emerging risks in the digital sphere. National human rights institutions (NHRIs), along with other human rights defenders, are facing rising and sophisticated forms of reprisals for carrying out their work.
Sustainable Development Goal 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) of the 2030 Agenda highlights the importance of access to justice for all for the development of peaceful and inclusive societies. Meaningful access to justice can only be achieved when people know their rights, have the opportunities, agency and capacities to claim them, and have access to independent, inclusive and people-centred justice systems that will respond in a timely, fair and effective manner.
Without justice, there can be no lasting peace. In post-conflict, crisis-affected and fragile contexts, truth-seeking initiatives and reconciliation efforts are essential to bring peace to affected communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down transitional processes as states prioritized their response to the health crisis and measures to support the economy.
In 2021, the continued erosion of democracy and the spread of authoritarian trends in politics in many parts of the world contributed to a backlash against women’s rights. The COVID-19 crisis has reversed some of the hard-won gender parity gains by exacerbating pre-existing inequalities and power imbalances. It has also caused a dramatic increase in sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). All these challenges have been particularly acute in conflict, fragile and crisis-affected settings.
New ideas and new strategies are critical to building sustainable and effective development approaches that really meet people’s needs. Technologies and globalization raise new human rights concerns and threaten the rule of law. Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to limit people’s access to basic services. UNDP connected expertise across the globe to learn and adapt. Creating a culture of curiosity and experimentation, these efforts ensured that local needs and expertise were combined with emerging models to bring strategic thinking to people-centred development goals.
- Arab States
- Europe & Central Asia
- Latin America &
In Burkina Faso, UNDP supported the justice system to enable it to better fight impunity. As a result of UNDP technical support to digitize judicial files, 106 magistrates, members of the High Judicial Council (CSM), started managing their dossiers online. In addition, the technical capacities of the members of the permanent secretariat were strengthened in the use of computerized magistrate file management software.
The level of public trust in the justice system has further increased. This is largely due to the holding of criminal and correctional mobile courts, which, with UNDP’s support, have brought justice closer to the people. In 2021, UNDP supported the organization of 27 criminal and correctional mobile courts in 10 Tribunals of Grande Instance, which enabled the trial of 924 people, including 88 women. The mobile courts acquitted 112 people, including 12 women, who were thus able to reintegrate in the society. UNDP’s support for the Bobo-Dioulasso Court of Appeal allowed it to reduce the number of cases awaiting trial by 50 percent and the Fada N'Gourma Court of Appeal managed to reduce the number of cases awaiting trial by 80 percent (excluding the cases under investigation).
UNDP contributed to improved monitoring and reporting of human rights violations, including providing recommendations to the respective government bodies on the submission of their reports to the UN Human Rights Mechanisms and the African Union. With UNDP support, Burkina submitted its second report on the implementation of the recommendations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the second report on the implementation of the recommendations of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the combined fifth and sixth reports due under the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. To this end, UNDP provided training to 30 members of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Follow-up Committee and organized consultations with more than seven human rights civil society organizations.
Key Results: Burkina Faso
106 magistrates who are members of the High Judicial Council became better equipped to fight impunity.
UNDP-supported mobile courts reduced the number of cases awaiting trial by 50% in the Bobo-Dioulasso Court of Appeal and by 80% in the Fada N'Gourma Court of Appeal.
500 young human rights defenders (HRDs), including 200 women, were trained on the monitoring and reporting of human rights violations in a conflict context. 150 police officers, including 50 women, were sensitized on their role to protect the HRDs and the holistic support to the victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).