In depth

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After years of civil war, traditional justice mechanisms were eroded. The justice sector needed to be rebuilt from the ground up. Increasing the number of qualified law enforcement officers, lawyers and judges will build a robust legal system from the ground up. As part of an ongoing process to increase the number of officials with formal legal education UNDP has strengthened legal and judiciary institutions across Somalia and Somaliland.

UNDP’s donors — Sweden, the European Commission, UK AID, Norway, Denmark, Germany, and the Counter Piracy Trust Fund — are instrumental in the efforts to strengthen government and civil society institutions to deliver fair and rights-based justice services.

Since 2011, UNDP has supported legal internships, ensuring half the interns were female. For one year, students are provided with exposure in the public sector, including key ministries, courts and the police, where they gather on-the-job work experience. These graduates are now working with the Attorney General’s Office, the Higher Judicial Council, the police, legal aid centres, local human rights NGOs, regional ministries and the Parliament.

Furthermore, to promote effective responses and consistent reporting on sexual and gender-based violence, UNDP supported two civil society organizations in Somaliland and Puntland to train non-governmental organizations and service providers, conduct sensitization workshops, and develop a paralegal manual. In Puntland a women’s organization developed a judicial monitoring tool to facilitate systematic and consistent data collection on sexual and gender-based violence cases.

In addition to the women and children desks, improvements are ongoing to mainstream gender issues in the justice sector. Political commitment as well as commitment by UNDP and the international community to support long-term interventions raised awareness on issues of gender-based violence in Somaliland. There are a significantly higher number of cases now going to court as well as survivors coming forward for treatment and support at the Hargeisa Group Hospital. This is largely due to efforts by UNDP to raise awareness on sexual and gender-based violence and the services available.

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