Netherlands Supports Justice and Human Rights with $2.5M

13 Jun 2013

Kabul, Afghanistan: The Embassy of the Netherlands and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Afghanistan have signed a cost sharing agreement (CSA) to enhance policy development and increase access to justice services across Afghanistan. The US$ 2.49 million cost-sharing agreement covers UNDP activities until December 2015, carried out under the Justice and Human Rights in Afghanistan (JHRA) Project.

Over the past decade, the Government of Afghanistan has developed the State justice system and advanced its ability to extend quality justice services to its citizens. However, challenges with security and limited access to information have weakened the ability of State justice providers to reach more remote communities, and public knowledge of justice and the responsibilities of the State remains low. Lack of access to and understanding of the formal justice system have hindered efforts to develop public trust in the formal justice sector, and have led to an over-reliance on community elders, or shuras, to resolve conflicts.

The UNDP has developed a Rule of Law Programmatic Strategy to assist the Government of Afghanistan in developing the necessary foundations to build trust in its justice system. The JHRA Project contributes to this strategy by assisting the Ministry of Justice in developing high-level coordination mechanisms and improving quality access to justice for vulnerable groups. Close engagement with the Ministry of Justice, Attorney General’s Office, Afghanistan Independent Bar Association, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, national civil society organizations, women’s groups and local community elders and shuras will allow the JHRA project to develop lasting systems and skills to bolster the delivery of justice to the people of Afghanistan in the long term.

Today, the generous support of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Afghanistan strengthens the JHRA Project’s programming to develop high-level coordination mechanisms for policy and legislation as well as the establishment of frameworks for providing quality access to justice services for vulnerable groups, including the Legal Aid Grant Facility in Afghanistan.