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 Mozambique, UNDP facilitated national consultations that will reinvigorate community security. While community policing councils were established across the country, the lack of comprehensive legislative framework and an institutionalized approach impeded their effective delivery. Crime levels in the country remained high, with persisting allegations of mistrust, abusive conduct and lack of accountability of community policing councils. In 2021, UNDP initiated the development of a new strategy that will provide a guidance framework to standardize practices, define needs and stimulate actions to improve community policing in Mozambique. Due in May 2022, the strategy will serve to promote a dialogue between communities and local police on the issues of public order and security, to engage citizens in crime prevention efforts, and to fill in the institutional and resource gaps in remote areas. It will outline where strategic interventions for community security are most urgent, both at the legislative and the operational level.
UNDP supported consultations across all the provinces to amend the Organic Law on Community Courts. The consultations involved 450 participants, including 200 community judges representing all districts of Mozambique. The amendments will serve to revitalize the work of thousands of community courts in the country and improve access to justice especially for poor people in remote rural areas where formal justice institutions are hard to reach. While these courts enjoy proven public confidence and have the potential to be an alternative channel for settling minor disputes, they suffer from procedural weakness. This process is expected to harmonize the functions and organization of community courts, while preserving traditions and promoting community cohesion. A new proposal for the revision of the law will be submitted to the Assembly of the Republic in August 2022.
UNDP contributed to the stabilization efforts in North Mozambique, in the six districts in the north of the province of Cabo Delgado directly impacted by the conflict. In 2021, UNDP established a sub-office in Pemba, Cabo Delgado, which implements a programme on “Stabilization, Recovery & Transformation in North Mozambique” to enable the local population to return to their homes and rebuild their lives. Within the rule of law component, UNDP provides support to restore justice, security and human rights institutions, including police stations, district and community courts. Trainings for over 50 police officers focused on ethics and human rights. Undertaking the Triple Nexus approach, UNDP supports transformative changes and promotes sustainable peace in Mozambique.
Under the Tripartite Partnership (TPP) among UNDP, the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and the Global Alliance for National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of Mozambique benefitted from the enhanced capacities to fulfil its mandate to protect and promote human rights. Based on the recommendations of the 2020 capacity assessment of the NHRC, UNDP and OHCHR supported the development of legal and policy tools to strengthen the role of NHCR and ensure its independence. UNDP contributed to the revision of the draft proposal to amend the Establishing Law of the NHRC to align it with the Paris Principles. In August 2022, the law will be submitted for consideration to the Assembly of the Republic.
Key Results: Mozambique
200 police officers from all the 11 provinces in Mozambique took part in a four-day national seminar (in a hybrid format) to discuss and define key areas for developing a comprehensive national strategy on community policing.
200 community judges participated in consultations across all the provinces to amend the Organic Law on Community Courts and revitalize the work of thousands of community courts in the country, especially in remote areas where formal justice institutions are hard to reach.
15 staff members (eight women and seven men) of the NHRC improved their knowledge and skills on investigative techniques and human rights in times of an armed conflict.