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Initiatives on Legal Empowerment of the Poor

UNDP,

As part of UNDP’s Initiative on Legal Empowerment of the Poor launched in 2007, this booklet illustrates case studies from legal empowerment projects in six countries: Pakistan, Zambia, Albania, Indonesia, Egypt, and India. These case studies highlight issues such as rent seeking by corrupt officials, employment conditions in the informal economy, and access to legal…

Improving Accountability in Agricultural Investments: Reflections from Legal Empowerment Initiatives in West Africa

International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED),

A recent surge in agribusiness plantation deals has increased pressures on land in many low- and middle-income countries. Rural people have mobilized to protect their rights, seek better terms or oppose the deals altogether. Since 2014, a set of initiatives in Cameroon, Ghana and Senegal has worked to help people harness the law in order…

The Rule of Law in Pakistan: Key Findings from the 2017 Extended General Population Poll & Justice Sector Survey

World Justice Project ,

Strengthening the rule of law is an important objective for governments, donors, and civil society organizations around the world. To be effective, however, strengthening the rule of law requires clarity about the fundamental features of the rule of law as well as an adequate basis for its evaluation and measurement. This report presents select findings…

Workbook on Security: Practical Steps for Human Rights Defenders at Risk

Frontline Defenders ,

Human Rights Defenders are those who work non-violently on behalf of others for any or all of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This includes those who work for civil and political rights, social, economic, environmental and cultural rights, and the right to equality, such as those working for women’s rights…

Statelessness: what it is and why it matters

Indira Goris, Julia Harrington, Sebastian Köhn,

For many of us, citizenship only really matters when we travel abroad, when the Olympic Games are on, or when we vote in national elections. We do not think about our citizenship on a daily basis. For others, citizenship is an ever-present issue, and often an obstacle. Because recognition of nationality serves as a key…

Equal Access to Justice for Persons with Disabilities in China

United Nations Development Programme,

This study explores the extent to which persons with disabilities (PWD) in China can effectively navigate the judicial system. Using Article 13 of the United Nations “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” and China’s “Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities” and “Legal Aid Regulations” as analytical tools and reference points, the…

Cuts That Hurt: The Impact of Legal Aid Cuts in England on Access to Justice

Amnesty International ,

The UK government has dramatically reduced access to legal aid for tens of thousands of people in civil cases. In doing so it has stripped away a vital element of support for a fair and just legal system. Those hardest hit by the cuts are some of the most disadvantaged and marginalized people in our…

Briefing Paper: Strengthening Access to Civil Justice with Legal Needs Surveys

Open Society Foundations ,

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) identify access to justice as a target for realizing inclusive and sustainable development. Expanding access to civil justice is a key strategy to confront inequality, reduce poverty, improve local governance, and secure meaningful development for marginalized groups. However, access to civil justice is not included as an indicator…

The Needs of the Malians for Justice: Towards More Fairness

HiiL Innovating Justice,

In 2014, HiiL has conducted a Justice Needs and Satisfaction survey (JNS) in Mali. The data has unveiled what were the most pressing justice needs in Mali and what were the most common resolution mechanisms and processes employed. The report aims to provide a detailed overview of the justice environment in Mali, in the end…

Governing Land Investments: Do Governments Have Legal Support Gaps?

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment,

In the wave of efforts to encourage and support more “responsible” land investments, one aspect has been largely overlooked: are governments equipped with the legal and technical support needed to effectively negotiate and conclude investment contracts that lead to responsible outcomes? CCSI researched how host governments access legal support in the planning, negotiation, and monitoring…

Myanmar’s Foray into Deliberative Democracy: Citizen Participation in Resolving Historical Land Grabs

Posted by Namati in Governance, Land & Natural Resources, Namati News

Namati and a coalition of non-governmental representatives have published a policy brief on the committees tasked with overseeing the investigations of Myanmar’s historical land grab cases. It is hoped the brief will help strengthen the implementation of the committees, making them more responsive to the lived experience of ordinary Myanmar citizens trying to secure their land…

How One Experience in Bangladesh Advanced Women’s Rights Work in Myanmar

Posted by Nant Thi Thi Oo in Global Legal Empowerment Network, Women

The following is a blog by Nant Thi Thi Oo, a data entry associate with Namati’s program in Myanmar.    In November 2015, I had the chance to participate in a learning exchange hosted by Namati and the Bangladesh National Woman Lawyers Association (BNWLA). I was very grateful to be selected to go. The exchange focused…

New Handbook for Environment Justice Practitioners in India

Posted by Namati in Environment

Handbook on Legal and Administrative Remedies for Community Level Environment Justice Practitioners in India   The Centre for Policy Research-Namati Environmental Justice Program has produced an indispensable new handbook that helps environment justice practitioners in India to identify and use appropriate legal clauses and institutional routes in their work.  Environment justice practitioners, or grassroots environment paralegals,…

Why Norway Should Lead a Global Fund for Legal Empowerment

Posted by Vivek Maru in Community Paralegals / Grassroots Legal Advocates, Governance, Post-2015 Agenda

This article was originally published in the Norwegian news outlet, Aftenposten, on August 12, 2016. The Norwegian version can be read here.    Since World War II many countries have come to respect fundamental liberties, at least by the letter of the law. But for billions of people around the world those laws aren’t worth…

Liberia is at a crossroads: recognising land rights can safeguard against violence

Posted by Jennifer Duncan and Jaron Vogelsang in Community Land Protection, Governance, Land & Natural Resources

This article was originally published by Thompson Reuters Foundation.   The government of Liberia has an unprecedented opportunity to pass progressive land reform legislation that could positively impact millions of people, but the window of opportunity is rapidly closing. If Liberia’s legislature doesn’t vote to adopt the draft Land Rights Act before it goes on recess…

Four Ways Regional Bodies Can Help Deliver SDG Justice Commitments

Posted by Temitayo O. Peters, Global Legal Advocacy Fellow, Namati in Post-2015 Agenda

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) differ from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in many ways. Unlike the MDGs, the SDGs universally apply to all countries, and are holistic and integrated. Moreover, their delivery is to be achieved by governments, civil society, and the private sector working together to achieve their success. The SDGs also recognize…

India’s National Green Tribunal Sets an Important Precedent

Posted by Krithika Dinesh, Manju Menon, and Kanchi Kohli in Environment

A Casual Approach  By taking on board the concerns of a fishing community in Hazira, India, regarding the construction of a port, the National Green Tribunal has set an important precedent. I n 2013, a fishermen’s group in Hazira—the Hazira Machimar Samiti—and three affected fishermen had filed a petition against the Adanis, the project proponent…

Namati contributes to FAO Technical Guide on legal dimensions of responsible governance of tenure

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Governance, Land & Natural Resources, Resources & Research

The latest technical guide on the responsible governance of tenure from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) focuses on the legal dimensions of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure for Land, Fisheries and Forests at the national level. Rachael Knight, Director of Namati’s Community Land Protection Program, was one of the main authors…

New book on protecting community lands and resources in Africa from Namati and Natural Justice

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Governance, Land & Natural Resources, Resources & Research

In 2013, a group of 20 expert advocates from across Africa gathered for a three-day symposium to share experiences and practical strategies for effectively supporting communities to protect their lands and natural resources. The symposium illuminated many similarities between the types of threats to communities’ land and natural resource claims, as well as underlying factors that drive and exacerbate…

Videos on Community Land Protection

Posted by Rachael Knight in Community Land Protection, Namati News

Namati is thrilled to release four new videos that illustrate our approach to Community Land Protection. The first video is an overview of our approach, while the second and third videos describe the challenging work of making maps, resolving land conflicts, harmonizing boundaries with neighbors, drafting by-laws to ensure just and equitable governance, and electing diverse…

Call for New Partners: Community Land Protection

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Community Land Protection, Environment, Namati News

Namati is looking for new partners to adapt our approach to support communities in their regions. Drawing on five years of research and field-testing, Namati and our partners have designed a powerful four-step process for protecting community lands and natural resources. Our approach supports communities to map their resources, harmonize boundaries, and formally register their…

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