Corruption is on the rise globally, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this trend and demonstrated its urgency. The 2021 WJP Rule of Law Index shows that 66% of the 139 countries covered by the Index declined in absence of corruption in 2021 and 58% have declined over the last six years. Meanwhile, Transparency International’s most recent Corruption Perceptions Index states that 131 out of 180 countries studied have made “no significant progress against corruption in the past decade.”  To address this mounting challenge, The World Justice Forum 2022 convened anti-corruption experts from around the world in The Hague and online to discuss the root causes of corruption, its existential threat to the rule of law, and the methods that prove most effective in combating it.

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On September 4, Chile rejected the adoption of a new constitution, that would, among other provisions, enshrine gender parity at the national level.   World Justice Challenge 2022 honoree Fundación Multitudes was deeply involved in the lead up to the vote, hosting a series of conversations with women candidates to the Constitutional Convention, feminist activists, and others in 2020 and 2021. It was through these workshops that they recognized that disinformation and online gender-based violence were a barrier that discouraged women from pursuing a political career or even participating in the political arena as advocates and citizens.   WJP recently talked to Paulina Ibarra, Executive Director of Fundación Multitudes, to learn more about their work in Chile, and how, in light of the recent referendum results, they are looking to the future.  

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Three months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the World Justice Project sat down with Dariia Marchak, Chief Operating Officer of SE Prozorro.Sale, a World Justice Challenge finalist in the Anti-Corruption and Open Government Category.   SE Prozorro.Sale is a Ukrainian state enterprise that has transformed the country’s privatization process through an electronic auction platform that facilitates transparent sales of government assets to private companies. Since the war began, the company has continued its work, running auctions to raise money for Ukraine’s defense and humanitarian aid.   Marchak shared insights into SE Prozorro.Sale’s work as an anti-corruption platform and how months after the start of the war, Ukrainians are focused not just on resistance, but on building a better, stronger democracy.  

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an exceptional lawyer, judge, and trailblazing advocate for women’s rights, in addition to being an honorary chair of the World Justice Project, where she has served as an inspiration for building the rule of law movement.   In June, the World Justice Project honored her legacy at the 2022 World Justice Forum, with the first Ruth Bader Ginsburg Legacy Keynote Conversation. The featured speaker was Sherrilyn Ifill, a prominent American civil rights lawyer and inspirational advocate who is president and director-counsel emeritus of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.  Before a wide-ranging conversation with CIVICUS Secretary General Lysa John, Ifill delivered the keynote remarks below. 

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Approximately 5.1 billion people around the world lacked meaningful access to justice when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, according to a 2019 analysis by the World Justice Project (WJP). Access to justice is fundamentally linked to individual well-being: the 2019 study found that 40% of individuals who experienced a justice problem also faced health or financial hardship. A separate study WJP conducted in partnership with the OECD estimated legal problems cost nations up to 3% of their GDP. These serious justice problems tend to disproportionately affect women, children, people with disabilities, and other marginalized groups. The World Justice Forum 2022 highlighted the importance of adopting people-centered approaches to address these significant global justice gaps. 

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Rede Wayuri is a network of 55 Indigenous communicators in the Rio Negro region of Brazil. Through their use of WhatsApp and local radio, they have not only reported on topics like illegal mining in the Amazon, but also distributed accurate information about the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines.   At the World Justice Forum in The Hague this past June, Rede Wayuri was presented with the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Award for their outstanding work in countering disinformation by bringing accurate, reliable information to 23 Indigenous peoples and 750 communities in five local languages and Portuguese. 

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When I was taking off to attend my first World Justice Forum, I had every expectation that I would hear the brightest minds debating the most complex social issues of our time. I was ready to learn about challenges unknown to me, faced by communities outside of the United States. What I didn’t expect was to see so many effective and transformative solutions that had already been implemented across the globe. The Justice Expo was not a showcase of proposals, suggestions, or hypotheses. It was an inventors’ forum: a spectacular display of evidence that dramatic change and global healing are achievable through innovation.

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During the World Justice Forum, Dr. Ahmad Sarmast, founder of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM), called on the international community to save Afghan music, women musicians, and all Afghan musicians. He described the human rights that have been stripped away since the Taliban’s August 2021 takeover made Afghanistan a “silent nation.” You can read Dr. Sarmast’s full remarks from June 1, 2022, in The Hague below, edited for clarity, and watch a performance by ANIM students who now live in exile Portugal.  

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As one of Cambodia’s first human rights defenders, Vandeth recently made the difficult decision to stay home when the World Justice Project invited 30 World Justice Challenge finalists to showcase their exemplary rule of law projects at the World Justice Forum in The Hague.

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The World Justice Forum 2022: Building More Just Communities gathered over 1,200 people from 116 countries in The Hague, Netherlands and online for a week of learning, collaboration, and agenda-setting for the international rule of law and justice community.

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wjforum working session

Inspired. Challenged. Galvanized. These are three words that I came up with to define my state of mind after my weeklong trip to The Hague for the World Justice Forum in May. It took a lot of time to unpack the whole WJF experience since it was something that felt unreal in parts.

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Civil society actors and leaders from around the world gathered from 30 May to 3 June 2022 at the World Justice Forum in The Hague, the home of the United Nations’ International Court of Justice, and online to share insights and recommendations on three important priorities for strengthening justice and the rule of law.

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