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


Two events in 2021 stood out for their impact on rule of law, human rights and security in the region. In February, Myanmar’s military overturned the democratically elected civilian Government and arbitrarily detained members of Government, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint. The military takeover has resulted in an intensification in violence and human rights violations across the country, as well as a deep humanitarian crisis and increase of poverty, further shrinking of civic and democratic space and near collapse of rule of law.

Although the takeover of power by the Taliban in Afghanistan in August has resulted in a decrease in civilian casualties, it has led to a severe humanitarian and economic crisis across the country with serious impacts on human rights and led to an economic crisis that has pushed more than 95 percent of the population below poverty line, with half the population suffering extreme hunger. Actions taken by the de facto authorities have curtailed women’s rights and freedoms, with women largely excluded from the workforce and girls so far excluded from secondary education in most of the country; human rights defenders have been killed and detained1, and dozens of media workers subjected to threats and arrests. The suspension of the previous justice system has resulted in the exclusion of most former judges and prosecutors (and with women largely excluded from the new system), uncertainty about the applicable law, safety and security of independent defence lawyers, imposition of corporal punishment in some cases, and the referral of gender-based violence (GBV) cases to religious dispute resolution mechanisms.

While the international community has prioritized humanitarian support to both countries, the need to go beyond humanitarian relief and the crisis for rule of law, justice, security and human rights should not be ignored. UNDP’s Global Programme has stepped in to seek to address the gap, repurposing a grant to Afghanistan to support defence lawyers whose role in upholding the rule of law and human rights has become more critical than ever, and supporting lawyers and civil society organizations in Myanmar to promote and protect the rule of law and human rights.

Elsewhere in the region, UNDP continued to support national human rights and justice institutions to protect human rights and ensure access to justice throughout the pandemic including through expansion of e-justice services and through the publication of research and a toolkit on emerging technologies and judicial integrity by the Judicial Integrity Network ASEAN (JIN ASEAN), a sub-regional judicial integrity network convened by UNDP. JIN ASEAN also conducted consultations with members of the network on gendered threats to judicial integrity, the results of which will be published in 2022. In the field of Business and Human Rights, the number of countries supported by UNDP on the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights increased from nine in 2020 to eleven in 2021. During 2021, a specific focus was placed on training companies on the use of the gender lens when conducting Human Rights Due Diligence and on training journalists on reporting about impact of business operations on people and the planet.

  • 1 1 See Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Forty-ninth session, 4 March 2022 (A/HRC/49/24),
    para. 52.