Africa: International Justice Body to Focus More On Africa in 2020

31 December 2019

The World Justice Project (WJP) has announced plans to support more research-based rule of law studies on Africa in 2020.

In an end of year message, WJP said it now covers 34 countries in Africa expanding its Rule of Law Index. Some of the areas it may cover include research-based police and prison reforms, deepening advocacy on global access to justice by documenting effective solutions, and sharing learning with global network.

The WJP made a shocking finding in 2019 when it announced that 1.5 billion people, which is one in five people worldwide, face unmet legal needs ranging from land disputes, debt, basic public services, and unreported violent and petty crimes.

"This crisis has real-world consequences. Our global surveys found that more than 1 in 4 people experienced physical or stress-related ill-health as a result of their legal problems, with more than 1 in 5 losing their jobs or having to relocate.

"Negative impacts from legal problems cost between 0.5 and 3 percent of annual GDP in developed and developing countries alike," the statement said.

"When people can't get justice, it's not only their health and wealth that suffer. Trust in institutions erodes. Add to the mix rising authoritarianism and a worsening human rights crisis, and the rule of law is under stress as never before."

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