The Justice For All campaign ran from 2018-2021.
The campaign advocated for increased financing and protection for grassroots justice defenders around the world. It was designed and led by the Grassroots Justice Network (formerly Legal Empowerment Network) and executed by a coalition of justice organizations.
At the time, an estimated 5.1 billion people lived outside the reach of the law, leaving them susceptible to violence, discrimination, and systemic injustice. Grassroots justice defenders helped change this status quo by bringing down barriers that prevented people from accessing justice and supporting communities to know, use, and shape the law.
Leading up to the campaign’s launch, 193 countries agreed to make “equal access to justice for all” one of the key goals of the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — in part thanks to the advocacy efforts of members of the Grassroots Justice Network. Still, the work of justice defenders remained chronically underfunded, and the defenders themselves were increasingly at risk. The Justice For All campaign took on these challenges.
What we achieved
Justice For All Campaign Timeline
Following decades of efforts spearheaded by civil society, the Justice For All campaign built on that momentum over the course of the campaign, from 2018 to 2020. Below are key activities and critical points of opportunity for our movement.
The Justice For All campaign is launched in Buenos Aires, joined by The Elders and their Walk Together for Justice →
After decades of efforts spearheaded by civil society, the Escazú Agreement, the first binding instrument in Latin America and the Caribbean to establish protections for environmental justice defenders, is adopted
10 Weeks of Action demanding funding and protection for grassroots justice defenders
Donor meeting at the UN General Assembly making the case for investing in grassroots justice
Second Meeting of the Task Force on Justice in Sierra Leone →
Image credit: Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies
Launch of Justice For All policy brief, “The Case to Fund and Protect Grassroots Justice Defenders” →
Hague Declaration on Equal Access to Justice for All by 2030 announced and adopted by ministers and high-level representatives at the Ministerial Roundtable on Access to Justice →
OECD launches access to justice workstream, making the case for investing in justice for all →
Rome Civil Society Declaration on SDG16+ is finalized at the Rome SDG16 Conference →
Image credit: TAP Network
Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global Summit in Canada concludes with 9 countries including access to justice commitments in their National Action Plans and the creation of a working group on Access to Justice →
Image credit: Open Government Partnership
20 G7+ Member states sign the Joint Action Plan for the Declaration on Equal Access to Justice for All by 2030 →
Funding access to justice, a ‘cross-cutting enabler of the SDGs’ op-ed is published in DevEx →
At its Policy Round Table in Latvia, the OECD publishes the Riga Statement Investing in Access to Justice for all →
SDG16 reviewed at the 2019 High Level Political Forum, where 47 countries reported on their progress towards SDG16 through presentations of voluntary national reviews (VNRs) →
Civil society, community members, government, and academics came together Argentina to create the Access to Justice Agreement: A Reforms Agenda for the Effectiveness of Rights →
SDG Summit brings together world leaders to report, for the first time, on progress towards delivering the SDGs →
Our community successfully advocates for the inclusion of a new SDG 16.3 indicator on civil justice to be added to the SDG’s official global reporting mechanism during the 10th session of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators →
Campaign representative speaks at the Annual 16+ Forum Showcase in Timor Leste
Event at the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) highlighting the importance of supporting and protecting grassroots justice defenders working on environmental justice and community land rights
More than 90 groups from 30+ countries participate in the COVID-19 Justice Challenge, which was launched to identify the challenges Network members were facing during the pandemic, how they were adapting, and what support they needed →
“Grassroots Justice in a Pandemic: Ensuring a Just Response and Recovery” policy brief launches →
COVID-19 Grassroots Justice Fund launches to support grassroots justice groups worldwide →
Namati and members of the Legal Empowerment Network collaborate with the Open Government Partnership (OGP) to form and launch the OGP Coalition on Justice
Global Week for Justice brings together the global community working towards justice for all →
33 grassroots groups are awarded through the COVID-19 Grassroots Justice Fund →
Image credit: LET STATION
Donor Meeting is held in partnership with Global Citizen to generate private sector investment
Image credit: Global Citizen
Voices of the Campaign
The Justice For All campaign, in addition to raising attention and concern about the importance of providing finance for justice and particularly grassroots justice, also importantly secured finances to make funding available to grassroots justice organizations in a time of crisis as the COVID pandemic unfurled across the world.
I was so impressed at how the campaign structured financing and funding in a way that it did not feel like a big unachievable process. A lot of justice defenders are everyday people just trying to solve their own justice issues in their local communities…It made the money quickly available…and it really gave people the room they needed to use the funding in response to the needs of their community.
Founder and Director, Legal Empowerment and Advocacy Hub
At the global level, we are beginning to speak with a more similar language around access to justice needs, and that’s mostly because of the agenda that the Justice For All campaign sought to bring forward.
Co-Director, Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia
The Justice For All campaign was critical in helping government and civil society in Sierra Leone drive forward policy reforms on access to justice. This was particularly useful through the Open Government Partnership Co-creation Process, in which civil society organizations and governments developed an access to justice commitment for Sierra Leone’s third National Action Plan that focused on Community-Based Justice Service provision as a key government policy commitment.
Deputy Director of Programs, Namati Sierra Leone
The Justice For All campaign helped us in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region to build real regional partnership, which allows us to change our experiences, to change our knowledge to help solve common issues in different countries.
Formerly Executive Director, Legal Development Network