Zambia faces many systemic challenges to strengthening the rule of law as it relates to police brutality, police corruption and accountability, and gender-based violence. As the first step towards sustainable change in these areas, Street Law Zambia worked with a Zambian human rights lawyer to develop a curriculum for youth ages 11-14 that addressed police brutality and gender-based violence. The curriculum was used to train 400 youth at four middle schools in Lusaka, Zambia.


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As indicated by the World Justice Project's Rule of Law Index, Zambia is filled with opportunities for development. However, Zambia will continue to do poorly on its Delivery of Justice indicators if Zambia's leaders lack a strong understanding of their own justice system. Street Law Zambia's (SLZ) program aims to address the following specific challenges in Zambia:

  • Police Brutality: According to the World Justice Project's Indez, Zambia ranks 91/97 worlwide in Fundamental Rights, and 16/18 regionally. Recent incidents of police brutality against citizens demonstrate that the problem of rights absues extends to the police
  • Police Accountability: Per the WJP Indez of Government Accountability, Zambia's rate of police corruption is higher than other similarly-situated countries, and nongovernmental checks on police power are powerless in remedying this problem
  • Gender-Based Violence (GBV): Although Zambia is a signatory to the UN Charter on Human Rights, 49% of Zambian women attest to being abused on the basis of gender at some point during their lives, according to a 2007 Amnesty International Report. Again, this shows a lack of respect for fundamental rights, and it is reflected in Zambia's WJP Index rankings
  • Legal Education Deficiency: According to the WJP's Index, Zambia's legal system ranks below the Sub-Saharan average by every Delivery of Justice indicator (except for the effectiveness of its ADR system)

Program Summary

Given the systemic challenges that Zambia faces in implementing the rule of law, especially as it relates to gender-based violence and police brutality and responsibility, Street Law Zambia (SLZ) believes that education is the key to sustainable social change and is a central tool for empowerment in Zambia. However, education is only as good as the educational content, and Zambia's current social sciences curriculum lacks relevant, interactive, law-related content. The primary goal of this project is to move SLZ closer towards a longer-term goal of developing that curriculum for Zambia. A pilot program will be conducted by a Zambian human rights lawyer, Pamela Mumbi, to teach a limited-scope curriculum in several schools. SLZ will be able to develop its curriculum content and the relationships that are central for developing a longer-term project with broader impact and scope. Key SLZ activities include: 

  1. Developing a pilot-project curriculum for youth ages 11-14 that focuses on police brutality and gender-based violence
  2. Implementing pilot-project curriculum for 400 youth at 4 different middle schools (16 classrooms)
  3. Gathering content input for longer-term, full-blown curriculum project



This specific project will target approximately 400 middle school children (ages 11-14) from 15-20 classrooms in 4 underprivileged schools in Lusaka, Zambia. The curriculum will cover police brutality and responsibility and gender-based violence. By educating youth in these 2 specific areas, the program will directly impact the following WJP Rule of Law factors:

  • Respect for fundamental human rights (Zambia ranks 91/97 in equal treatment; discrimination; freedom of belief and religion);
  • Accountability of government; and
  • Delivery of justice


Partners include:

  • Ms. Pamela Mumbi, human rights lawyer and former Director of International Justice Mission;
  • Zambia Chapter Zambia Civic Education Association;
  • International Justice Mission, Zambia;
  • Jubilee Centre;
  • Street Law Inc.;
  • Seattle University School of Law; and
  • Access to Justice Institute

Program Details

Sub-Saharan Africa