USAID’s Access to Justice Program supports the disadvantaged and vulnerable population by educating them about their rights and by providing legal assistance to improve their access to justice. The program works in cooperation with professional legal associations, law schools, legal assistance NGOs, and the Iraqi government. Women, including widows, Internally Displaced Persons, and women without proper legal documents such as identity papers and marriage certificates are the priority vulnerable group within the Access to Justice Program.
The program supports the growth of local and national institutions which provide information, assistance, and advocate on behalf of vulnerable populations through three interconnected objectives:
- Improving of vulnerable and disadvantaged Iraqis’ knowledge of their rights/responsibilities, and the remedies under the law;
- Increasing the competency and availability of legal professionals and civil society partners to assist vulnerable and disadvantaged people; and
- Generating opportunities for civil society organizations and government engagement to improve policies, laws, and procedures affecting vulnerable populations.
Our impacts in this sector include:
- Support for a national women’s rights media campaign to create demand for legal actions. The campaign was coordinated by 12 Iraqi NGOs working with the Iraqi Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. As a result of the campaign, the NGOs received over 1,000 hotline calls, provided over 2,200 legal consultations, and opened over 1,000 legal cases in defense of women’s rights.
- An all-women team from Baghdad University Law School represented Iraq in the international finals of the Jessup Moot Court competition held in Washington, D.C. The team participated in four rounds, competing against 109 teams from 78 countries.
Last updated: August 12, 2014