Speak up for justice

MDG : justice targets in new development goals :  man accused of bicycle theft, Mozambique
Palesa Manaleng
According to Namati at the United Nations (UN), countries are discussing what should replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), when they expire in 2015. Leaving out targets for justice.
Namati is sending an open letter to the UN General Assembly asking that justice be central to the new development goals. Asking governments to commit to five things.
Extract from the letter:
Access to Information: People should know about the laws and regulations that govern their lives, particularly those concerning essential services. States should commit to disseminating simple and clear statements of law and policy. They should also grant people an enforceable right to information to ensure that laws and regulations are implemented effectively.
Legal Identity: Without state-issued identity documents, individuals may not be able to open a bank account, obtain a mobile phone, or secure the goods and services necessary to work and save for their families and their future.
Rights to Land and Property: Approximately three billion people around the world live without secure rights to what are often their greatest assets: their lands, forests, and pastures. Increasing demand for land is leading to exploitation and conflict.
Legal Participation: Just as communities should govern their land and natural resources, people should have a voice in how services like healthcare and education are delivered. Participation should not be limited to elections every few years.
Legal Services: Everyone should have access to fair, effective forums for resolving conflicts, for seeking protection from violence, and for addressing grievances with the state.

Read more on Millennium Development Goals:
Law and disorder: rough justice rules in the developing world
Fact sheets on how justice targets can be incorporated into the MDGs
Africa’s search for Law
Kenya Urged to Back Access to Justice As Global Standard

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About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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