The Elders have launched a new access to justice programme – adding their voice and leadership to stand alongside those who pioneer access to justice, both at the global and local levels. 

The Elders – a group of global leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela – are committed to the cause and, where advantageous, will challenge the influence of those who oppose it. The new programme will have a particular focus on access to justice as a crucial means of tackling violence against women.

Speaking recently at the World Justice Forum, Elder, international champion of human rights, and leading activist in Pakistan's women's movement, Hina Jilani, championed civil society campaigners as filling the gaps in providing access to justice, but warned that they need financial support, and recognition from the legal system. Hina Jilani launched a landmark report on justice to which she contributed to as a co-chair of the Task Force.

Read Hina Jilani's full speech here: Civil society is underappreciated as a partner in delivering justice goals

Currently more than five billion people still live outside the protection of the law. As outlined in The Elders position paper: “When justice and security is only available to the rich and the powerful, when there is impunity for those who break laws and abuse rights, this weakens states and their capacity to preserve the rule of law and to pursue development, social justice and economic growth as agreed under the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Hina Jilani, World Justice Forum, The Elders, Access to Justice

Since the scale of the justice gap was revealed over 10 years ago, not enough progress has been made to extend the provision of justice to the people who need it most – especially women, people living in poverty and minority groups. All sectors in society must step up and take responsibility to deliver access to justice to the most vulnerable individuals and communities.

The Elders are working to amplify the voices of grassroots activists and civil society, and are engaging with heads of state and policymakers to help drive development, social justice and economic growth. 

Join The Elders today and show your support as they continue to encourage action by political, traditional and religious leaders.