One year ago, the World Justice Forum 2019 concluded with the announcement of the winners of the 2019 World Justice Challenge: Access to Justice Solutions. To mark this occasion, WJP is catching up with each winning project to learn how their work has evolved over the past year, the challenges they face, and how the Wold Justice Challenge prize money has bolstered their work.

 

These updates highlight projects that are expanding in terms of impact, reach, and innovation. The Malawi Resentencing Project's campaign to release prisoners from death row is expanding to Tanzania and Kenya based on the jurisprudence developed in the Malawi context. In Kenya, the 160 Girls Project, which seeks to protect girls from sexual violence, is set to expand to all schools in Kenya and train 80,000 police officers to investigate child rape cases. 

The World Justice Challenge prize money the projects received has directly helped with these positive developments. In Brazil, Instituto Socioambiental used the award to fund a documentary retracing the story of riverine people and their displacement and recording the social and political process shaping their return. This documentary will help the project raise awareness about the displacement and return the riverine people to their home. In India, the award funding helped Nazdeek strengthen their advocacy efforts for women working in Assam and Delhi, and expand both their team and their work to different regions across the country.

The project reports, however, also point to serious challenges. The COVID-19 crisis has created crises within the projects themselves. In Alaska, the Partnering for Native Health project is faced with the reality of native health partners redirecting their efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, while also having to respond to the increased need for legal assistance as unemployment rises in the state. In Kenya, Equality Effect has had to move its Justice Clubs to a virtual setting, and the girls the project aims to protect are now more at risk of being raped and having no recourse to report it as schools have closed. 

Political and legislative transitions also have created new risks. In Brazil, the Riverine People project has been completely stalled since President Jair Bolsonaro's rise to power. The new government's backing of agribusiness and big industry interests has meant that the riverine people have still not been allowed to return to their homes. In India, legislative rollbacks and the new Citizenship Act proposed by the Modi government are directly threatening not only the livelihood of the plantation workers Nazdeek’s project aims to protect, but also the paralegals that help make it a success.

These projects, which captured the attention of our judges at the World Justice Forum in The Hague, were among 30 finalists chosen from over 250 applications from around the world. They each represent innovative efforts to bring justice to individuals and communities that have seen little of it in the past. We are excited to share their latest work with you and to encourage the rule of law community to participate in our upcoming World Justice Challenge 2020. Stay tuned for more World Justice Challenge 2021 details coming this fall, and follow along in the coming weeks as we share full updates on the 2019 winners.

 

Explore Project Updates:

 

160 Girls Access to Justice Project

The Equality Effect, Kenya

One in three Kenyan girls experience sexual violence. In 2013 the Kenyan High Court found that police failure to enforce existing rape law had created a climate of impunity. This project is working to change this culture through police trainings, education, and creative legal advocacy projects.

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Photo courtesy of The Equality Effect
Photo courtesy of The Equality Effect

Riverine People and the Right to Full Reparations

Instituto Socioambiental, Brazil

In 2015, 300 families who lived on the islands and banks of the Xingu River, state of Pará, Brazil, were forcibly displaced from their homes to make way for the reservoir of Belo Monte hydroelectric power plant. This project, through strategic advocacy and a broad negotiation with the Brazilian government and the corporation building the dam, was able to influence the elaboration and implementation of an adequate reparation policy for traditional populations impacted by large infrastructure projects.

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Photo courtesy of Instituto Socioambiental
Photo courtesy of Instituto Socioambiental

 

Additional project updates coming soon.

 

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Corruption and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Part of a multidisciplinary initiative from the World Justice Project to expand knowledge of the relationship between public health and the rule of law, and to identify measures to tackle the twin crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rule of law where they intersect, this policy brief outlines the principal corruption risks posed by the pandemic and highlights relevant norms, best practices, and resources to combat corruption in the pandemic response and recovery period.

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