In peacekeeping mission and transition settings, UNDP’s Global Programme works through the Global Focal Point for Rule of Law to deliver integrated assistance with our UN partners. In this section, we highlight a few of our priority contexts that have received joint support to strengthen the rule of law and human rights and the subsequent results achieved in 2018.
Central African Republic
Significant progress on increasing access to justice, the fight against impunity, and security sector reform was achieved in the Central African Republic (CAR) in 2018. Yet, the country still faces a dire humanitarian crisis, with almost 3 million people in need, a precarious security climate, and a lack of state resources. UNDP is working with MINUSCA, UNODC, UNHCR, and other UN entities through the Global Focal Point for Rule of Law (GFP), to deliver rule of law assistance to the Central African Republic to overcome these challenges and contribute to sustaining peace.
Three years after its establishment by law, the Special Criminal Court held its inaugural session in 2018, demonstrating the states’ commitment to the rule of law and that serious crimes will not continue with impunity. The judiciary also progressed by holding four criminal court sessions in Bangui and Bouar, which tried 79 cases, including 13 reports of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). In addition, the Mixed Unit for Rapid Intervention and Suppression of Sexual Violence against Women and Children, recorded 3,579 cases of SGBV, of which 35 cases progressed through trial. Women-led legal aid clinics also provided assistance to 10,792 people, including 2,856 survivors of SGBV.
All of the existing 3,254 police and gendarmerie officers, including 500 newly trained recruits, were vetted in line with the UN Human Rights Due Diligence policy and received new uniforms. In addition, five prisons and five police and gendarmerie units in six locations were rehabilitated to extend the authority of the state and enable them to better fulfil their protection responsibilities.
The results of a perception survey on justice, peace, and security conducted by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative in collaboration with the GFP, show that 57% of the population believe that "trials for those responsible for the crimes" is necessary for peace to return to the CAR and that over the past two years there has been a 71% increase of trust in the justice sector as well as in internal security forces. With this greater understanding of peoples demands and priorities, UNDP will continue to work with national and UN partners to end impunity in CAR and promote access to justice and security for all, with a broader focus on transitional justice and victim-centred approaches in support of the peace agreement signed in February 2019.
For more information please visit: UNDP Central African Republic
- The Special Criminal Court held its inaugural session, launching the investigation phase of serious crimes and human rights violations committed since 2003.
- Legal aid clinics provided assistance to 10,792 people, including 2,856 survivors of SGBV.
- 500 newly recruited police officers and gendarmes graduated from training, helping to professionalize and expand state presence throughout the country.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Despite a complex political and security environment in 2018, the Democratic Republic of the Congo moved forward in protecting human rights and strengthening the rule of law. UNDP, jointly with MONUSCO, OHCHR, UNHCR, and UNICEF through the Global Focal Point for Rule of Law (GFP), maintained its core engagement in advocating for the implementation and monitoring of the National Policy of the Justice Reform adopted in 2017 to support the fight against impunity and increase access to justice.
Throughout the year, UNDP and MONUSCO supported 17 mobile court hearings and 12 investigation missions in North Kivu, South Kivu, Ex-Eastern Province, Ex-Katanga, and Central Kasaï, greatly improving the efficiency of military jurisdiction. In total, 85 cases of international crimes, sexual violence, and murders were tried in 2018, representing a 36% increase over the year, including the emblematic cases of Colonel Domi, “the Marocain” and the massacres of Djugu.
Ensuring the accessibility of holistic care for sexual violence survivors in the Eastern provinces has remained a key priority for UNDP. Over the past three years, a total of 4,987 survivors of sexual violence have benefited from legal assistance, which led to 2,661 judicial decisions. In 2018, GFP partners enabled mobile courts to hold three hearings in Mambasa, a territory that has been particularly impacted by the conflict. In addition, the Legal Clinic Plus of Mambasa was supported to provide legal assistance to 138 survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, which led to 87 judicial decisions.
UNDP also established a partnership with the Bar Association and supported the training of lawyers on international criminal law and prosecutions of international crimes. As a result, 100% of defendants benefited from free and quality legal assistance during their trials. Additionally, the proportion of pretrial detention was significantly reduced in Goma, Bukavu, and Bunia from 68% in 2017 to 32% in 2018. Moreover, the Peace Tribunal became fully operational, providing justice services to the people of Mambasa.
Looking forward, UNDP and its GFP partners will focus on supporting national partners to review the prosecution strategy and digitize the justice system to increase efficiency and ensure the provision of high-quality justice for all.
For more information please visit: UNDP Democratic Republic of the Congo
- 12 investigations and 17 mobile court hearings resulted in the adjudication of 85 international criminal cases.
- 758 prisoners of Goma, Bukavu, and Bunia benefited from legal assistance, leading to the release of 454 illegally detained prisoners and reducing the rate of pretrial detention by 36%.
- From 2015 to 2018, 4,987 survivors of sexual violence benefited from legal assistance, which led to 2,661 judicial decisions.
Haiti experienced multiple political blockages, unsteady government leadership, and recurring public demonstrations in 2018, which greatly hampered development progress. However, by harmonizing UN approaches on the rule of law based on the UN Development Assistance Framework in Haiti, UNDP, MINUJUSTH, and UN Women managed to jointly deliver strategic support to advance justice and security efforts through the Global Focal Point for Rule of Law (GFP).
For example, with GFP support, the Haitian National Police was able to effectively manage civil disturbances and demonstrations as they arose despite a reduced UNPOL presence and removal of Formed Police Units in country. In addition, the GFP helped the Inspectorate General of the Haitian National Police to implement an electronic case management system, greatly increasing the efficiency of police response. The safe handling of police weaponry was also improved through the construction and distribution of 36 metal storage units to police stations. Moreover, crime scene management was enhanced by the procurement of specialized equipment.
Critical support was also provided to the Ministry of Justice and Public Security and the Superior Council of Judicial Authority, enabling both institutions to evaluate, plan, and consolidate their respective inspection schemes and to establish priorities for future accountability. In addition, three workshops were organized to familiarize judicial actors with their roles and responsibilities after the adoption of new legal aid legislation in 2018.
The GFP further supported the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Human Rights to draft a national action plan for the implementation of recommendations made by the Universal Periodic Review and Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. Together with civil society, the GFP also helped the government to develop a national action plan to fight impunity and human rights violations of the past. Finally, the GFP supported two nation-wide workshops on investigative methodologies and reporting for the Office of the Ombudsman.
Looking forward, the GFP aims to encourage transparency, accountability, and good governance in Haiti by supporting the country in achieving SDG 16 as an accelerator for the 2030 Agenda.
For more information please visit: UNDP Haiti
- The Haitian National Police implemented a case management system and received specialized training (200 officers) to combat impunity, corruption, and safeguard human rights.
- 3 police commissariats in Grande Anse and West provinces and 2 regional offices of the Ombudsman’s Office in Saint Marc and Jeremie were established or rehabilitated.
- The Inter-Ministerial Committee for Human Rights drafted a national action plan for the implementation of recommendations made by the Universal Periodic Review and Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.
On the basis of the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel, UNDP works closely with MINUSMA and other UN partners in an array of initiatives in Mali, including through the Global Focal Point for Rule of Law (GFP), to restore state authorities and strengthen the rule of Law. Despite continued security challenges and limited resources in 2018, the Government of Mali was able to move forward with key rights-based reforms in the corrections sector. UNDP supported these efforts by both building capacities of corrections personnel and enhancing conditions for people in detention.
To enhance the capacities and performance of the National Directorate of Penitentiary Administration and Supervised Education (DNAPES), UNDP organized a series of workshops leading up to the Annual Prison Administration Conference in Sikasso in December 2018. A total of 192 DNAPES staff benefited from the workshops, which focused on improving detention conditions according to the Mandela Rules, the Bangkok Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners, and the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency as well as discussed topics such as first aid and prison incident management. The annual conference enabled 100 DNAPES officers and executives to formulate the priorities of the corrections sector going forward. In addition, UNDP helped DNAPES and management committees in all Malian prisons to put in place income generating activities to ensure the sustainability of services and the social reintegration of inmates. UNDP also assisted DNAPES in launching the computerization process of the corrections data management system to better monitor and analyze the detention registers and contribute to reducing the rate of pre-trial detention.
Over the course of the year, four prisons were rehabilitated in Bougouni, Ouelessebougou, Kayes, and Fana, increasing the amount of space allocated to prisoners and providing them with mattresses. The detention centres in Bollé and Kita were also improved with secure fences and dedicated spaces for recreation. Meanwhile, water infrastructures in the rural penitentiaries of Tana and Konseguela were rehabilitated. The conditions for female prisoners were improved through the provision of 611 dignity kits with necessary safety and sanitation items across all Malian detention centres. Moreover, to facilitate social reintegration, a total of 398 inmates in Tana, Baguineda, Konseguela, Kayes, Kita, Bafoulabé, and Bougouni benefited from a range of skills-building workshops, on topics such as agricultural techniques and sewing as well as received the necessary equipment.
Looking forward, UNDP seeks to build on the progress made in the area of corrections and connect this to broader efforts to strengthen the rule of law and human rights in Mali through the GFP.
For more information please visit: UNDP Mali
- 449 corrections administration personnel trained on United Nations Guidelines for the treatment of prisoners.
- 398 inmates gained technical skills allowing for social reintegration.
- 611 female prisoners received dignity kits to improve their detention conditions.
The security situation in Somalia, especially in the newly emerged Federal Member States, remained unstable in 2018. However, the Ministry of Justice of the Federal Government and the Federal Member States signed a political agreement outlining a joint Justice and Corrections Model, marking significant progress towards the federalisation of the justice and corrections sectors in Somalia. However, some issues, particularly regarding the autonomy of the Federal Member States’ judicial systems, require further consultations before the model can be endorsed by the National Security Council and implemented countrywide. The model is expected to be presented at a National Security Council later in 2019.
Through the support of the Global Focal Point for Rule of Law’s (GFP) new Joint Justice Program (UNDP and UNSOM), 5,748 people (65% women) were assisted by legal aid clinics and civil society organizations and 32,400 people were reached through legal awareness raising campaigns in 2018. Furthermore, UNDP and UNSOM also supported the drafting and updating of 18 laws and policies to create a more enabling environment for the rule of law and protect the most vulnerable people. In addition, 242 scholarships (27% women) and 119 internships (35% women) were funded to support law students and address the shortage of well-trained law professionals within the justice sector. Lastly, UNDP worked with over 20 partners to establish the Somalia Peace and Security Goal 16 Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Project, which aims to develop a system for tracking progress on rule of law indicators under SDG16. So far, the outcome-based M&E framework has been designed and presented to key stakeholders for the initiative.
UN support to the rule of law in Somalia is currently being realigned to the Security and Justice Roadmap, which identifies national priorities and anchors engagement within the GFP. This will provide the UN with a common vision, enhance coherence, and enable more effective decision-making at all levels for programme implementation. Looking forward, the UN will focus on supporting national partners to expand justice services beyond the state capitals and to coordinate with the security sector to ensure a comprehensive approach to peace and security in Somalia.
For more information please visit: UNDP Somalia
- 242 students were supported with scholarships and 119 were supported with internships, contributing to the development of a capable and well-functioning justice sector.
- Mobile courts are operating in all 5 Federal Member States of Somalia and Somaliland and processed a total of 1,416 cases.
- 4 new community dispute resolution centres opened in Jubaland and South West States, bringing the total number of centres to 11 across 4 Federal Member States, which resolved a total of 3,364 cases throughout the year.
In 2018, UNAMID commenced a drawdown of its operations, signaling a shift from conflict to early recovery and development; however, access to justice and security remains limited in many parts of Darfur. Strengthening the rule of law to reduce high-levels of criminality and resolve land disputes has been identified as a priority area for the UN during this transition period.
Working closely with national partners, UNDP and UNAMID, through the Global Focal Point for Rule of Law (GFP), have focused on re-establishing traditional rural courts as the fastest and most effective way to expand access to justice across Darfur. Currently, 70% of cases in Sudan are resolved in rural courts, which have had a significant impact in reducing community tensions. UNDP and UNAMID have also invested in the capacity development of paralegals and the establishment of three new Justice and Confidence Centers in internally displaced persons camps, which mediated 450 cases in 2018.
UNDP and UNAMID also brought together over 2,000 justice actors to build a common understanding of the justice chain (informal and formal) and their respective roles as well as the importance of fair trial, legal aid, human rights, children’s rights, and gender justice. UNDP and UNAMID also supported the recruitment and training of 100 female police officers on community-oriented policing to improve community relations and crime prevention in all four states.
UNDP, in collaboration with UN Habitat and FAO, supported legal reforms to integrate customary rights of land tenure into statuary laws in Darfur. UNDP also supported the establishment of a land dispute resolution system across Darfur, connecting existing community reconciliation mechanisms, state-level arbitration teams, and the Special Prosecutor on Land Tenure in the Ministry of Justice. Conflict-prone areas along popular nomadic routes were also identified and forums for dialogue and the use of alternative routes were promoted. UNDP is currently working to identify available land for returnees and supporting the establishment of a database on land use that preserves peoples’ historical rights and promotes land registration to prevent future conflicts.
In 2019, UNAMID will close operations in four out of five states in Darfur. To enable a smooth transition, UNDP will implement over $10,000,000 (USD) from UNAMID assessed funds in areas of rule of law and human rights, with the support of 22 UNAMID staff co-located in UNDP offices.
For more information please visit: UNDP Sudan
- Extensive capacity building training provided to 2,191 persons (1,036 women) from the justice and security sectors (police, lawyers, judges, paralegals, law makers, and native administrations) as well as internally displaced persons and civil society across Darfur.
- 3 rural courts, 1 training police facility, and 1 Family and Child Protection Unit established in Darfur.
- A land dispute resolution system created for Darfur, connecting existing community reconciliation mechanisms in 63 out of 64 localities, state-level arbitration teams, and the Special Prosecutor on Land Tenure in the Ministry of Justice.