A Global Legal Empowerment Network: Learning from Others, Growing the Movement

By: Abigail Moy

In 2008, the United Nations High Commission on Legal Empowerment for the Poor proposed global priorities aimed at ensuring legal protection and opportunity for all. Among its recommendations, the Commission called on multilateral agencies, foundations, grassroots movements, and civil society organizations to form a global forum and virtual arena for legal empowerment. The report also emphasized the need for regional dialogue on legal empowerment, the sharing of best practices, the development of policy instruments for national implementation, and the fostering of regional cooperation.

In the ensuing years, the Open Society Justice Initiative and the World Bank Justice for the Poor Program convened leaders from legal empowerment movements around the world to take forward these recommendations. Two initiatives were launched as a result of these discussions: Namati – an international organization dedicated to legal empowerment – and the Global Legal Empowerment Network – an international community of practice that Namati helps to convene.

A committee of fourteen respected practitioners from different countries guides the development of the Global Legal Empowerment Network. The members of this “Network Guidance Committee” lead capacity-building initiatives in their respective regions, primarily by hosting or contributing to regional meetings for members of the global network. Thus far, the network has hosted regional meetings in Dhaka, Bangladesh; Kampala, Uganda; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Jakarta, Indonesia; and an upcoming meeting in Amman, Jordan.

This paper, from the annual journal Human Rights Education in Asia-Pacific, focuses on the experiences of network members from Asia, the efforts of the Global Legal Empowerment Network to support their work, and techniques for strengthening regional dialogue and collaboration.

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Uploaded on: Nov 23, 2015
Last Updated: Dec 05, 2017
Year Published: 2013
Author: Abigail Moy
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