Rule of law, justice and security in countries affected by crisis

When countries fail to establish justice, security, and the rule of law peace and stability are the first to suffer.  A breakdown in the rule of law may slow the road to reintegration after a conflict, cause or exacerbate violence and tensions, and fuel criminality and insecurity. Only when societies are able to implement and abide by the rule of law, can they also achieve other critical milestones, such as inclusive and effective governance and the respect for human rights.

For 1.5 billion people around the world who live in places affected by conflict, violence or high levels of crime, re-establishing justice and security is critical for building peace. In 40 countries, UNDP helps re-establish the rule of law after conflicts or where it has broken down.

Our Focus


Women call for peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo: Eskinder Debebe, UN Photo

Dealing with the legacy of violence: To offer redress for past violence and human rights violations, UNDP provides advice and training to local and national leaders on establishing truth commissions, providing reparations to victims of conflict, and prosecuting conflict-related crimes.

Increasing safety and security for all: UNDP works with communities to discuss and analyze the causes of and possible solutions for the violence and insecurity they face. UNDP also helps curb the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, while ensuring that security actors in crisis situations are professional, accountable and respect human rights.          

Building effective justice and security institutions: In crisis contexts, UNDP helps governments to rapidly restore justice and security services. In the long-term, this includes implementing measures for justice and security reform, including through training for justice sector professionals, such as judges and prosecutors, while helping citizens to understand their rights and access the justice system. UNDP supports mobile courts which resolve disputes in remote or rural communities that are often excluded from the traditional justice system.

Improving justice and security for women: To support and empower women in crisis contexts, UNDP helps improve overall justice and security, tackle impunity for sexual and gender-based violence, and increase women’s participation and leadership in justice and security institutions. UNDP also engages communities to prevent violence against women and supports legal frameworks that are inclusive and protect women's rights.

 

Our stories

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Justice and atoning for Guatemala's past

It took 29 years for Alfredo to find out the truth about who he really is. The 31-year-old, originally from Guatemala, now lives in the US. He always thought that his name was Oscar, and that Lieutenant Oscar Ovidio Ramírez Ramos, the father he loved, was a military hero in his native country. But tmore

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Supporting recovery and local governance in Somalia

It is early morning and Amina[1] has another busy day ahead. The mother of two must get her children off to school and finish some housekeeping before she can attend to her small business, selling second-hand clothes and household supplies beside her corrugated-iron-roofed house. In spite of her hecmore

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DRC: Nobody is above the law, not even the military

The atmosphere is tense in Bweremana, Goma, in war-torn North Kivu. A large crowd has gathered outside a tent, serving as an impromptu military court. They wait impatiently for the verdict to be announced. When the announcement finally comes, there are gasps of shock and relief from the crowd. Eightmore

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Guatemala: Laying a mother to rest after 31 years

In Guatemala, UNDP is helping some of the family members of more than 45,000 victims of the country’s “disappeared” to finally find out what happened to their loved ones. The murmur of chanting and the smell of incense fill the air in a small house in Rabinal, about 50 km from Guatemala City. A Maymore

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In Colombia, moving from tragedy to development

The 21st century was just beginning when Salomón Manuel Petro – a troubadour and farmer – and his family were forced to leave their home in northwestern Colombia. They took only what they could carry with them, along with their memories, shattered dreams and the popular songs stuck in Petro’s throatmore

Projects and Initiatives

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El Salvador: An early example of peacebuilding

The armed conflict that raged in El Salvador from the late 1970s through the 1980s ended in 1992 with the Chapultepec Peace Accords. In the ensuing years, UNDP helped to rebuild institutions and address the underlying causes of post-conflict societal violence. Despite this progress, the consolidatimore

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Montenegro: Defense reform brings greater security

Montenegro’s Boka Bay is a place of striking beauty. Only a few years ago, this unique place faced a dire threat : 128 tonnes of toxic fuel, once destined to propel anti-ship rockets, was stored on the shore at risk of leaking from outdated storage tanks. “My family, friends and neighbours were allmore

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Global Initiatives

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Through its Global Programme on Strengthening the Rule of Law in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations UNDP is building peace and promoting access to justice and security in over 37 crisis-affected countries and situations. The Global Programme is also a vehicle for UNDP to engage in policy debates around rule of law, justice and security with other key UN actors, and to support international consensus-building towards collective action in this area. Through its Global Rule of Law Programme, UNDP is engaged in joint programming with the UN Department for Peacekeeping Operations and other UN agencies in a number of peacekeeping settings.

In Focus
Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Crisis Situations

Whether in times of armed conflict, post-conflict or peace, sexual violence is neither inevitable nor acceptable; it is an outcome of gender inequality and a violation of human rights for which states are accountable.

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Key Publications
Global Programme Annual Report 2013

Strengthening the Rule of Law in Crisis-Affected and Fragile Situations

Why, What and How to Measure?

A User's Guide to Measuring Rule of Law, Justice and Security Programmes

Improving Women's Access to Justice

During and after conflict: Mapping UN Rule of Law Engagement

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The Global Focal Point for Police, Justice and Corrections

How do we work together with the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) on being the Focal Point for the Police, Justice and Corrections Areas in the Rule of Law in Post-conflict and other Crisis Situations?

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