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Strengthening the global movement for grassroots justice

More than half of the world’s population lack meaningful access to justice, with many unable to access support when they are driven from their land, denied basic services or intimidated by violence. IDRC is helping to address this growing justice gap by supporting research centred on the experiences of those most affected by injustices.
A woman speaks into a microphone at a meeting outdoors with other West African women.

Eleven action research projects across 16 countries are testing community-based justice approaches and generating powerful insights on how legal empowerment strategies can combine the power of law and community organizing to generate systemic change. 

These IDRC-supported research teams are gathering in Nairobi, Kenya, from March 20–24, 2023. In a public event on March 22, they will engage with Kenyan community paralegals; His Excellency the High Commissioner for Canada in Kenya, Christopher Thornley; and the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Margaret Satterthwaite. 

Kenya’s rich history with legal empowerment will be represented by a legal advice centre called Kituo cha Sheria and by the Paralegal Society of Kenya. These two organizations will co-host this public event with IDRC and Namati, the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers. This collective effort aims to identify what works to uphold human rights in the face of structural inequality and exclusion and rapidly eroding public accountability.  

During the five days of meetings, participants from Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia will share knowledge and evidence that is contributing to a larger learning agenda on legal empowerment.