Woman working in a municipality next to a kid driving a bike

Community Security and Access to Justice

Community Security and Access to Justice


Aligned with the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan (LCRP), the Recovery, Reform and Reconstruction Framework (3RF), and partially implemented in close collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the CSAJ project has the promotion of social stability and safeguarding of human rights at its core. It seeks to enhance community security and access to justice, while strengthening the independence and effectiveness of justice and human rights promotion and protection mechanisms.


Lebanon is facing an unprecedented and compounded set of crises that has resulted in a deteriorating security and human rights situation and exacerbated people’s vulnerabilities. In addition, the country is suffering from a deep and multi-faceted governance deficit that has left the state unable to ameliorate the current situation. 

Limited access to basic security and justice services puts the social fabric of communities at risk and increases the risk of tensions, and impact more severely the already most disadvantaged, namely the poor, women and girls, the youth, as well as refugee populations. Security institutions tend to focus on law enforcement, at the expense of community policing approached, and justice institutions are largely inaccessible, inefficient, and face accountability issues. As a result, many resort to informal justice or security institutions, or see their rights infringed upon. 

Taking a reform and people-centered approach, the CSAJ project promotes institutional capacity building and service delivery via partnerships with national and local stakeholders while addressing the most pressing needs of vulnerable communities. With municipalities at the frontline of crises, the project aims to transform the municipal police into a people centered, gender sensitive and accountable community police service, one that is FROM the people and FOR the people. In addition, the development of a national system for the provision of free and quality legal aid services, as well as efforts to strengthen the independence and efficiency of justice institutions are crucial to meet the rising legal needs of the most vulnerable, to bring justice closer to the people, and to take forward governance reforms, address corruption and strengthen accountability. 

Major achievements

  • Municipal Police Reform implemented through a unified strategic framework articulated around five components developed in partnership with the Ministry of Interior, and is being piloted at local level through a communication for development (C4D) approach
  • 213 municipalities across Lebanon are now complying with elements of the reform and are active in transforming their municipal police into a community police
  • Spearheaded efforts to institutionalize Legal Aid in partnership with UNHCR through the Access to Justice Working Group chaired by the Ministry of Justice. Three Legal Aid helpdesks have been established and provided free and quality legal aid services to over 2,700 beneficiaries during 2021
  • In partnership with OHCHR, coordinated the inclusive and participatory process of updating the Lebanese National Action Plan for Human Rights (NAP)
  • Spearheaded an inclusive and just post-August 4th Beirut blast recovery through the production of a “Leave no one behind”-report and support to provision of legal aid services to - victims of the explosion
  • Strengthened capacities of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), including its post August 4th blast human rights monitoring capacities (in partnership with OHCHR)
  • Through UNDP leadership of 3RF justice sector: developed, coordinated and led advocacy effort on independence of the judiciary legislation and need for its development through an inclusive and participatory process
  • Supported the rehabilitation of two prisons and enhanced health protection measures to ensure protection of basic human rights and dignified living conditions to detainees

GESI Component: 

The project integrates Gender Equality and Social Inclusion into all aspects of its activities. Promotion of women in security institutions is a core element of the reform of the Municipal Police. Since the beginning of the project, many pilot municipalities across Lebanon have hired female municipal police and UNDP has also supported an assessment of the challenges and opportunities associated with hiring female personnel. In addition, the project has collaborated with UN Women in drafting and implementing the NAP for UN Resolution 1325. Furthermore, SGBV protection is mainstreamed through all programming related to security sector reform, capacity building, community outreach and communication. 

The development of a national system for legal aid services has GESI considerations into at its core. Targeted specifically towards vulnerable demographics, communication and outreach is designed to reach those who need it most. Women’s legal needs are a particular concern, and constant assessments and evaluations are being conducted to ensure that service provision is being adapted to respond to those needs. Legal awareness and C4D activities put the emphasis on gender justice, including SGBV and personal status matters.