United Nations Development Programme
UNDP’s Access to Justice, Security and Human Rights Programme works to enable all members of society to experience peace and security, enjoy their human rights and actively fulfil their societal roles through the realisation of access to justice, rule of law, human rights, and security. This work prioritises people and states most impacted by the conflict, with a key focus on the most vulnerable members of society, such as women and girls, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) survivors, youth and the elderly, as well as internally displaced people (IDPs) and returnees. Equally importantly, engagement includes both national and state levels, supporting national stakeholders in addressing drivers of conflict and building resilient communities.
A key characteristic of such communities is the accessibility of institutions capable of resolving disputes in an expedient and fair manner, without prejudice to the rights of any group. While engaging statutory and customary judicial bodies, central to such work is ensuring equality in access to fair and impartial justice. The urgent need for legal aid services has been identified country-wide in various fora – this ranges from legal representation, awareness of rights, , effectively seeking redress for past abuses, psychosocial support along with support to manoeuvre referral paths for and administrative challenges preventing access to other identified needs. Dependable institutions allow for citizens to enjoy their rights and find stability in safe and secure surroundings.
Vulnerable populations are often left in precarious circumstances, without accessible pathways to claim their rights or seek justice, with high illiteracy rates and limited knowledge of laws and legal processes make it difficult for many to seek justice or recourse for abuses or to follow the status of their cases without legal aid. Without the support of legal aid, vulnerable populations are often unable to get justice in personal, family, property, or business disputes.
In 2022, the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs in partnership with UNDP contracted the Hague Instituted for Innovation of Law (HiiL) carried out a Justice Gap Assessment. The assessment established that every year, 1.75 million people in South Sudan face one or more legal problems. 60% of these problems relate to land disputes, domestic violence, and crime. 57% of them are completely or partially resolved mainly through traditional systems while 12.5% are perceived to be resolved unfairly. As such, South Sudan has an annual justice gap of almost 2 million unresolved legal problems which require people to have legal aid services.
Accordingly, UNDP, through the Access to Justice, Security and Human Rights Programme, and with support from the Government of the Netherlands, is engaging in supporting the provision of legal aid to vulnerable groups and establish referral paths. In this call for proposals, UNDP is seeking competent and reputable registered organisations (including CSOs, NGOs, CBOs, etc.) to establish Justice and Confidence Centers (JCC) in one the following locations where they have a presence: Central Equatoria, Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Western Bahr El Ghazal, Eastern Equatoria, Western Equatoria, Upper Nile, Warrap, Lakes, Unity and Jonglei States, and Greater Pibor Administrative area, Ruweng Administrative Area and Abyei Administrative Area.
The JCCs will provide legal aid including legal representation, advice, and awareness-raising, as well as psychosocial support to vulnerable groups for a duration of six-months. Successful proposals will have an impact on at least 70 percent of the location where implementation takes place.
The main objective of the grant is to identify national organizations – whether civil society organizations (CSO), national non-governmental organizations (NNGO) community-based organizations (CBO), or the like – with operational presence and capacities in one of the states and Administrative Areas– Central Equatoria, Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Western Bahr El Ghazal, Eastern Equatoria, Western Equatoria, Upper Nile, Warrap, Unity, Lakes Jonglei, Greater Pibor Administrative area, Ruweng Administrative Area and Abyei Administrative Area. – to:
- Establish and operationalize time bound JCCs, that are capable of fully disposing or concluding cases undertaken within the six-months operational period in a timely, trauma informed, gender and victim sensitive manner;
- Provide legal advice and representation in both civil and criminal cases, as well as administrative matters for the most vulnerable groups such as women and girls, SGBV survivors, elderly, persons with disabilities as well as IDPs and returnees;
- Action legal awareness-raising, including on key justice issues, relevant civil and criminal proceedings, human rights, as well as referral pathways and their navigation;
- Undertake regular visitation to police and prison facilities and detention centers to identify persons who are on long periods of pretrial detention and their respective legal needs with a view to ensure their early release on bail or bond, support with legal representation, monitor legal procedures for fairness, as relevant.
- Provide counseling and psychosocial support to victims, prisoners and people with prolonged legal problems to protect or promote their mental health and psychosocial
- Provide advice on and refer the individuals to the hospital for medical help as well as to other appropriate mechanisms or other mental health services if they do not provide it.
CFP_legal legal aid-10 states and 3 admin areas
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