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 Nepal, UNDP provided technical and logistical support to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to resolve a total of 188 cases of human rights violations, and 186 new cases were received. These cases included such human rights violations as extra-judicial killing, discrimination based on gender, caste and ethnicity, lack of medical services during the COVID-19 pandemic, including lack of access to basic services for detainees, issues regarding citizenship certificates, and others.
UNDP offered technical support to the NHRC to elaborate a strategy to implement recommendations the country received during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). To design this strategy, UNDP convened national human rights actors under the auspices of the NHRC, government agencies including the Office of the Prime Minister and civil society. The strategy aims to serve as a roadmap for the implementation of the UPR recommendations and track progress. The strategy is yet to be adopted by the government. However, as the keeper of the strategy, the NHRC developed action points to enable the Government to address human rights concerns raised by individuals and civil society.
To assist the NHRC in its response actions to the COVID-19 pandemic, UNDP facilitated 12 monitoring missions in seven provinces to strengthen collaboration with local authorities and civil society, and to identify and address challenges that impede people to fulfil their right to health. Based on these missions, the NHCR developed a report with specific recommendations to the Government on legislative and policy measures to improve the situation with healthcare in the context of the pandemic. The government of Nepal introduced a number of policies and programmes to provide special care to the affected persons.
UNDP encouraged coordination among six thematic commissions that protect human rights and the interests of minorities, namely the National Women Commission, the Dalit Commission, the Commission for Indigenous Peoples, the Commission for Muslims, and the Madeshi Commission to help formalize their cooperation with the National Human Rights Commission. The development of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is in progress for reinforced joint human rights protection in the country.
UNDP enhanced the NHRCs implementation of its mandate to promote gender equality, non-discrimination, diversity and inclusion. NHRC’s officers received training on gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) which allowed the Commission to revamp its GESI code of conduct and adopt a zero tolerance policy towards discrimination. As part of its work on Business and Human Rights, the NHRC initiated monitoring of businesses, including commercial banks, to assess their GESI policies and practices. The guidelines on the monitoring of consumer protection have been developed and fully owned by the consumer rights organizations and associations. Another result of the Business and Human Rights work in the country is a commitment made by a number of private banks in Nepal to act in compliance with human rights standards.
Key Results: Nepal
12 missions completed by the NHCR to monitor the human rights situation during the COVID-19 pandemic in 35 districts covering seven provinces.
540,000 people reached in a public campaign to promote a mobile app that allows online reporting of human rights violations and provides human rights updates. The commission responded to approximately 3000 cases.
32 NHRC officials (including 18 women) enhanced their skills on gender equality and social inclusion through trainings.