Governments must do more to create effective means for empowerment.

More than a decade on from a landmark report revealing that four billion people live outside the protection of the law, not enough progress has been made to provide justice to the people who need it most – especially women, people living in poverty, and minority groups. 

A new programme launched by The Elders, Access to Justice, highlights four key areas of concern that must be addressed if justice is to be delivered.

Recommendations from The Elders on access to justice include:

  • Delivering access to justice is critical to the full implementation of SDG 16 and the wider 2030 Development Agenda;
  • Legal systems must be reformed and modernised so they are responsive, innovative, inclusive, people-centred and uphold human rights;
  • Independent legal support, such as community-based paralegals, should be supported to help citizens navigate systems and find practical, timely solutions;
  • Violence against women and girls must be addressed urgently as a profound global injustice, by political, traditional and religious leaders.

Throughout the programme The Elders will amplify the voices of grassroots activists and civil society and engage with heads of state and policymakers to help drive development, social justice and economic growth.

The Elders, Hina Jilani

Hina Jilani and Mary Robinson launched the position paper in The Hague and will discuss the programme during a meeting of the Taskforce on Justice. The event will feature Elders' in conversation with Minister Germán Garavano, Minister of Justice for Argentina and co-Chair of the Taskforce on Justice; and Sabrina Mahtani, Founder of AdvocAid (Sierra Leone) and The Elders' new Policy Advisor on Access to Justice, to explore why access to justice is so urgent now and what must be done to make this a priority for global leaders. 

The event will be live-streamed here from 17:00 GMT+1 on February 7.