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 Paraguay, UNDP supported the Supreme Court of Justice to establish protocols to address sensitive human rights violations. Through the project "Paraguay protects women, children and adolescents against violence in the context of the COVID-19 emergency" and the "Gender Equality Seal for Public Institutions", two protocols were put in place. One protocol was developed for judges of the civil courts of first instance on how to support victims of domestic violence due to the large increase in cases during the pandemic. The second protocol aims to support the judiciary in dealing with cases of sexual harassment and abuse at work. It was designed at the request of the Supreme Court due to the growing number of complaints. In addition, a gender equality plan developed with UNDP’s assistance was validated by the highest judicial authorities. The plan will allow them to apply for the Gender Equality Seal (GES) certification for 2022-2023.
To reduce the levels of gender-based violence in Paraguay – femicides, in particular – UNDP and UN Women conducted research “Femicide in Paraguay: 2017-2020” that served as a basis to review the procedures for the relevant ministries to provide immediate response to cases of violence against women and girls. The results of the research were published in the end of 2021 and the review of the procedures started. It will be completed in 2022 along with the implementation of a pilot plan for immediate response to violence against women by the Ministry of Women, Ministry of Interior and UNDP.
Through a network of gender mechanisms which consists of women's and gender secretariats created within various institutions of the executive branch, UNDP conducted a survey to define the capacities and the needs of these secretariats and to design a training plan to capacitate public institutions to incorporate gender to their work. UNDP will organize the training in 2022. The curriculum will cover such institutional aspects of gender mainstreaming as gender-sensitive budgeting, planning and impact with a gender perspective, regulatory and legal frameworks for women's empowerment and gender equity.
Key Results: Paraguay
Two protocols were established to support the judiciary in considering cases of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and addressing complaints related to sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace.
UNDP and UN Women completed research serving as a basis for a pilot plan implemented by Paraguay’s national institutions and UNDP to reduce the levels of femicide in the country.
A training plan was elaborated to capacitate public institutions of the executive branch to mainstream gender.