Access to Justice and human Rights project summary

Access to justice is integral to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and inclusive growth. An estimated four billion people around the world live outside the protection of the law, mostly because they are poor or marginalized within their societies. They can be easily cheated by employers, driven from their land, preyed upon by the powerful and intimidated by violence. The lack of legal accountability allows local corruption to undermine economies, diverting resources from where they are needed the most.

Lengthy delays in processing legal cases inhibit individual economic activity, while the inability to enforce contracts deters people from entering them. Overcrowded prisons are full of poor people waiting months or even years for a first trial, forced to give up work opportunities and unable to support their families. Women, who often face multiple forms of discrimination, violence, and sexual harassment, are particularly affected by legal exclusion. Addressing these legal challenges is essential to enable the basic protection of human rights, from protection of property to legal identity and freedom from violence.

It is against this backdrop that Rising Fountains Development Program is responding to challenges faced by women in various communities by implementing the Access to Justice and Human Rights Project with funding from the Finish Embassy.

The project aims to significantly increase access to justice and improve realisation of human rights for 2,400 women in Lundazi district. It seeks to contribute to the strengthening of the justice delivery system and related services and making them more accessible to the public, particularly to the vulnerable women.  This will be done through,

  1. Creating an enabling environment for 2,400 women by increasing awareness of community members, judicial workers, traditional leaders, civic leaders and police victim support units on gender-based violence, Zambian Laws, Human rights, formal and informal Justice Systems in Zambia and Parra legalism.
  2. Providing the women with legal representation, legal aid and legal information on gender-based violence, Zambian Laws, Human rights and formal and informal Justice Systems in Zambia.
  3. Increasing capacity of 10 project staff, 10 board members of RFDP and 10 staff from implementing partners on gender-based violence, Zambian Laws, Human rights, formal and informal Justice Systems in Zambia.

Expected project outcomes.

  1. 75% of the cases taken to traditional, Local, and subordinate courts, based on the baseline survey results, heard, resolved, and completed.
  2. 50% increase in the number of women having access to traditional, local, and subordinate courts and guaranteeing legal representation, based on the baseline survey results.
  3. Four Legal information centres established and strengthened, offering free and low-cost legal information, advice, and representation to 2,400 women.
  4. Increased ability of Local Courts and traditional Courts in handling cases, evidenced by the number of cases heard, resolved, and completed.
  5. Increased referral services between primary justice providers in the local community (Local Courts, Traditional Courts, and paralegals)
  6. 14,400 community members, staff and relevant stakeholders in Lundazi District have better understanding of the justice delivery systems, institutions, and legal procedures.
  7. 50% of the target beneficiaries (1,200 Women) seek and obtain a remedy through formal or informal institutions of justice for grievances in compliance with human rights standards.
  8. 90% of the target women accessing information on Zambian laws, informal and formal justice systems in Zambia, human rights, and gender-based violence.
  9. 50% of the target beneficiaries (1,200 Women) are being provided with legal aid and representation.
  10. Reduction in the number of gender-based violence cases, based on the baseline survey results.

The project beneficiaries are 2,400 women and their children and with a family multiplier of 6 about 14,400 people will benefit from this project. Our target is 70% of project beneficiaries to be women.

Project Stakeholders.

The implementing partners for RFDP during the implementation of this project are Ministry of Justice, Judicial department, Police victim support Unit, Lundazi District Women association, traditional leaders, Ministry of Gender Development and ministry of community development mother and child health,

RFDP is also seeking to cooperate with the following partners: Danish Institute of Human Rights (DIHR), Eastern Province Women Development Association (EPWDA), Zambia National Association of people with Disabilities (ZNAPD) and Radio Chikaya.


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