We can make access to justice a reality by focusing on people.
“The lack of justice in the world can seem overwhelming. Up to 5 billion people lack access to justice. This problem affects rich and poor countries. At the same time, we can start making inroads to this problem by bringing together interested governments, organizations and others, under the SDG framework. We should focus our efforts on those who need the most help, including women, children and refugees.”
Lack of access to justice is a serious problem in the world today and negatively affects individuals, in terms of their health and productivity, as well as affecting societies. In the worst cases, it leads to or prolongs violent conflict. Health and education receive a lot of global attention and funding. There needs to be a similar push for justice. As part of a government, it is possible (and urgent) to bring together governments and organizations to try to find solutions to this problem.
Marieke Wierda is a Dutch lawyer, born and raised in Yemen and educated in the UK and the US. Dr. Wierda has 20 years of experience in transitional justice. She worked extensively on transitional justice in Sierra Leone, Uganda, Lebanon, and Afghanistan. She is the author of many book chapters and articles on international criminal law and transitional justice, including a book on International Criminal Evidence, co-authored with Judge Richard May. Currently she is the rule of law coordinator at the Dutch Ministry for Foreign Affairs.