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 Lebanon, where the situation continued to deteriorate due to the compounded crises, UNDP sustained its critical support around three main pillars: supporting the reform of the municipal police; enhancing independence, effectiveness and accessibility of justice institutions; and the promotion and protection of human rights for the most vulnerable.
The key concept for the police reform in Lebanon is to ensure it provides people-centred services: municipal police that is from the people, at the service of the people. In 2021, across the country, 213 municipalities were engaged in transforming their municipal police into community police. Following a scale-up at the district level, 45 additional municipalities were included in the pilot reform process. A strategic framework for the municipal police operation was further developed along with key documents that define and standardize oversight and accountability mechanisms.
UNDP promotes inclusivity and gender equality as integral components of police reform. In 2021, a report on the Participation of Women in Municipal Police was launched to enhance women’s representation in security institutions. The results of the study formed an evidence base for policy recommendations.
UNDP supported sensitization of municipal police agents on the needs of the communities and strengthened their relationship with community members through communication for development (C4D) activities in ten municipalities across Lebanon. In addition, training capacities of the Internal Security Forces (ISF) Academy were improved by developing and piloting online training for the municipal police agents. Communities were better informed on the role of the municipal police as a result of the UNDP-supported national online communication campaign that reached over three million people.
To improve access to justice services in Lebanon, UNDP pursued the institutionalization of the National Legal Aid Strategy through the establishment of three legal aid helpdesks. In total 2,722 individuals (including 1,648 women) benefited from free and quality legal aid services, including 45 legal awareness sessions provided by the helpdesks during 2021. Over 1,000 people benefitted from 107 innovative peer-to-peer legal awareness sessions held by local peer educators trained by the Baalbek helpdesk to expand the geographical reach of the services and bring legal awareness closer to the communities of the region.
In cooperation with the Tripoli Bar Association, UNDP contributed to the development of a strategy to respond to, address and prevent sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). A network of local influencers was empowered to raise legal awareness about the rights of SGBV survivors and victims, and to promote legal referral mechanisms
UNDP strengthened the capacities of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), including its human rights monitoring in the aftermath of the explosion in Beirut on 4 August 2020 (Beirut blast). The NHRC developed a report detailing the human rights concerns faced by the victims of the explosion.
Finally, UNDP organized 14 national consultations to ensure that the National Human Rights Action Plan is updated through the inclusive and participatory process. The work around the Action Plan will be finalized in 2022.
Key Results: Lebanon
2,722 people (including 1,648 women) benefited from legal aid services and awareness raising sessions delivered by the 3 legal aid helpdesks established in 2021.
213 municipalities are complying with the requirements of the Municipal police reform. An additional 45 municipalities became engaged in the reform following its scale-up at districts level.
14 national consultations took place to ensure an inclusive and participatory process when updating the National Human Rights Action Plan set to be finalized in 2022.