Iraq’s vulnerable and disadvantaged populations include widows, orphans, internally displaced persons, persons with disabilities, religious and ethnic minorities, and individuals who lack access to state protections and services due to a lack of formal identity papers. USAID’s Access to Justice Program strengthens these groups’ access to justice and services while also supporting the modernization of government and civil society as Iraq’s financial and security environments improve. “Access to justice” refers to a state in which individuals can access rights and entitlements equitably through individual action or with the assistance of civil society or the government.
USAID’s Iraq Access to Justice Program supports the growth of local and national institutions which provide information, assistance, and advocate on behalf of vulnerable populations, through three interconnected components:
- Improving vulnerable and disadvantaged Iraqis’ knowledge of their rights/responsibilities, and potential remedies under the law;
- Increase the competency and availability of legal professionals and civil society partners to assist vulnerable and disadvantaged people; and
- Generate opportunities for civil society organizations and government engagement to improve policies, laws, and procedures affecting vulnerable populations.
Other program activities will assist in shaping training programs and grants for communications initiatives, law school and community based-clinics, and advocacy efforts.
Our impacts in this sector include:
- The creation of 34 public awareness campaigns to raise visibility and create demand for free legal services provided through civil society organizations.
- Legal consultation for more than 2,700 people, 2,100 of which focused on women and vulnerable populations, through civil society organizations and legal clinics.
- The Iraqi Bar Association promoted requirements for members to complete pro bono work and law schools created legal clinics to provide free legal services to vulnerable populations.
Last updated: August 12, 2014