Access to Justice and Confidence Building in Eastern Sudan
About the project
For many years, the local population in East Sudan endured acute poverty, drought, famine, and lack of access to healthcare and education, and high unemployment.
These difficult economic and social realities in the Eastern Sudan region have made it difficult for marginalized segments of society to obtain affordable legal counseling and representation. This is mainly owing to an insufficient provision of legal services for the poor. Rule of law institutions in Kassala State, namely the judiciary, the prosecution, police and prison administration, are in need of institutional capacity building and training to improve the quality of their services. UNDP’s project Access to Justice and Confidence Building aims to enhance the capacity of state government, civil society and communities to resolve disputes amicably.
The project focuses on building the capacity of local officials and traditional leaders to develop and sustain a rule of law culture in eastern Sudan through increasing the availability of legal information and resources on rule of law for government officials, traditional leaders, students and the general public in the Eastern Sudan states.
Achievements to date
The Justice and Confidence Centres (JCC) established within three states of eastern Sudan and handled 1,200 cases (family cases, criminal cases, administrative cases, employment cases, civil cases) over the course of five years and 900 cases were settled successfully. 200 staff paralegals mediated disputes, trained and supported 600 community-based volunteers and 500 traditional leaders at the village level on topics such as: basic human rights, property rights, women rights.
The Legal Information in Kassala College and Resource Centre (LIRC) was established within the premises of the Community College. UNDP has provided material support in establishing the LIRC (such as books, materials, computers and furniture). The LIRC provides useful legal resources, and is utilized by the communities.
Established a Gender Based Violence Working Group in Kassala and Red Sea States; and an awareness raising campaign on the importance of formal education for girls and boys was conducted.
Two hundred thirty awareness-raising workshops, in which 5,500 participated, were conducted in rural Kassala. The workshops covered: basic human rights principles, Sudanese law, and the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. UNDP also specifically focused on women through organizing sixteen Access to Justice workshops for women, with 800 women participants touching on basic human rights principles, family law and criminal law.
Supported the GoS Police in Kassala to increase policing by bringing services closer to the community. The project constructed two new police stations. The two stations have provided increased access to justice for at least 68,000 refugees in Kassala town and Wad Sherife locality. The project also succeeded in promoting community policing by encouraging communities in order to assist the police as willing participants in the task of controlling and preventing crime.
Established 12 women Advisory Counseling Group and legal awareness events in all localities of Kassala State with particular focus on enhancing awareness and legal aid services to stop violence among women.
Established 4 legal aid networks composed of lawyers, attorney general and traditional leaders to assist on cases solving through mediation and local norm.
Legal Aid services made accessible to the vulnerable population of Gedaref State by local NGO Zenab Women for Development
UNDP established 5 Community Safety Information Centers, which are accessible to the public and victims of crime to enable them to access information report crime incidents and receive immediate attention.