As some of you may know, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) is coming up at the end of September. During this General Assembly, there will be a first-ever SDG Summit that brings together member states to discuss progress, challenges, and opportunities on SDG implementation. Given that this year is the “Year of Justice”, we are also hoping to see lots of justice commitments announced and featured during the high level week in New York. Here are two key ways to you can help take action to accelerate some of these commitments in the lead up to UNGA.
2 ways to help tip the scales towards Justice For All right now:
1. Share your tips and commitment on how you plan to advance Justice For All in your community and help Crack the Case.
2. Tell governments and the UN that we need a civil justice indicator in the SDGs right now (Deadline September 8th).
1. Share your tips and commitment on how you plan to advance Justice For All in your community and help Crack the Case
Help Crack the Case
At the UN General Assembly in September, world leaders will report for the first time on their progress towards delivering the SDGs. While SDG16 provides a wonderful framework to deliver access to justice for all, the Task Force on Justice has reported that for 5.1 billion people around the world, meaningful access to justice is still missing. To collect ideas for how to secure Justice For All, we launched a new campaign: Help Crack the Case. Exhibited for the first time at the UN High Level Political Forum in July, participants engaged while taking pictures of clues, examining the evidence, and submitting their own ideas and commitments to crack the case.
While recent sightings of Justice for All have been reported in declarations and convenings in The Hague, Rome, Ottawa, and Buenos Aires, the case remains unsolved. Billions of people are still unable to understand, use, and shape the law to protect their basic rights and hold the powerful accountable.
We are calling on members of the Global Legal Empowerment Network to use this evidence and help us solve the case by submitting ideas and commitments that will deliver Justice for All on a global or national scale to our virtual Tip Line.
If you’ve made a commitment, the next step is to register that commitment with UNDESA who is compiling all government, civil society, and other actors’ commitments on how they plan to advance the SDGs in their contexts.
Reasons to register these commitments:
- Bring visibility and attention to the issues your teams are working on as evidence on how grassroots organizations are engaging on SDG 16. This could help with future donor visibility.
- When your country reports on the SDGs they will have to reference civil society actions that have been taken on access to justice issues.
- Civil society commitments help provide a level of accountability for what is being done on SDG16. If civil society can also encourage governments to list a commitment then they are bound to show how they are delivering on this commitment.
- Commitments can support national advocacy efforts to call on accelerated government action on SDG16 implementation.
For more details on how to make a formal submission, please see this Fact Sheet Justice Commitments Fact Sheet 15Jul19.pdf (355.5 KB) and register your commitment online here. A sample commitment submission can be accessed here. Sample UNDESA Commitment.pdf (103.7 KB)
[Fellow Justice champions examining the evidence and submitting ideas and commitments for achieving Justice For All to the Tip Line at the HLPF in July.]
2. Tell governments and the UN that we need a civil justice indicator in the SDGs right now.
As you may know, currently the only indicator governments are using to measure “justice for all” in SDG 16 is 16.3.1.: “16.3.1 Proportion of victims of violence in the previous 12 months who reported their victimization to competent authorities or other officially recognized conflict resolution mechanisms (CSV 5.954 kB)”
Although this is important, there is currently no indicator on civil access to justice that reflect the issues many of the members of our community are working on closely.
To fill this gap, earlier this year, a number of access to justice organizations, UNDP, and OECD submitted a proposal for a new civil justice indicator under the SDGs. Attached is a 2-pager with background information about the civil justice indicator.
The proposal was made to the IAEG-SDGs, the UN Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators, made up of a group of 28 member states as part of the Open Consultation on Proposals Received for the 2020 Comprehensive Review (Open Consultation) on all of the SDG indicators.
In August 2019, we learned that the IAEG-SDG decided not to include the proposal for an additional indicator under Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16.3 focused on access to civil justice in the next step of the process. This is very disappointing.
We are now reaching out to any and all relevant organizations, National Statistics Offices, and other stakeholders, including you, to express concern at the lack of inclusion of an access to civil justice indicator in the Open Consultation.
How to express your concern about the lack of inclusion of a civil justice indicator:
1. Reach out to your National Statistics Office (NSO) to express concern over the lack of civil justice measurement (Sample text and Fact sheet attached).
2. Express your concern over the lack of civil justice measurement in this online consultation organized by the UN.
- Go to this website. -> http://bit.ly/2020Review_Consult
- Complete your background information, Go to the section on Goal 16.
- Copy and paste the SAMPLE LETTER text below into the “Comments” areas of the submission or write your own.
- Press submit.
[Please feel free to copy and paste the following sample letter to express your concern to the online Open Consultation.]
To whom it may concern,
[I / Organization Name] was disappointed and concerned to learn that the newly proposed additional indicator for target 16.3 on civil justice by UNDP, OECD, and other civil society organizations was not included in the next phase of the the IAEG-SDG Open Consultation.
The additional indicator for target 16.3 focuses on measuring whether people who have civil justice problems can obtain legal advice, assistance, or representation, and ultimately resolve their problems. This indicator would be referred to ask 16.3.3.
This indicator is people-centered, measures barriers to accessing justice that disproportionately affect the poor and captures justice issues that occur inside and outside of formal institutions. From a methodological standpoint, it is feasible to implement, using only four questions that have been tested using a comparable methodology in over 100 countries. More information about the rationale, methodology and data availability for the proposal can be found here.
We urgently ask you to include this proposed civil justice indicator in the next process of the IAEG-SDG indicator review process, as it is essential if we want to deliver on ambition to reach “justice for all” by 2030.