Expanding Access to Justice (EAJ)

Seeking lasting improvements in access to justice and effective mechanisms to address grievances


Somali citizens struggle to access justice due to a lack of awareness of their rights, proximity to services, and legal aid. Seeking justice is especially challenging for marginalized segments of society, including women, youth, internally displaced persons, members of minority clans or kin groups, and persons with disabilities. They are often less informed about their rights, face discriminatory practices, and have fewer financial resources.


The Expanding Access to Justice (EAJ) program will strive to increase awareness and general knowledge of legal rights, human rights, and options for recourse, especially for Somali women, youth, and marginalized groups. It will respond to citizens’ needs by supporting civil society and government justice actors in sustainably improving the quality and scope of legal services.

The focus is on developing services that assist citizens in achieving rights-based outcomes through both the formal and informal justice system. Working with government and civil society justice sector actors, EAJ’s ultimate goal is to increase the quality, reach, availability, and accessibility of legal aid services of legal aid service delivery in Somalia and Somaliland.

“Expanding access to justice for Somalis is a key objective of U.S. development assistance. USAID’s Expanding Access to Justice Program supports the creation of an enabling environment that protects and promotes basic human rights and supports key actors – legal aid clinics, paralegal networks, civil society advocates, academic institutions – to enhance the quality of legal services, expand access to justice and safeguard citizen security,” - Jeffrey N. Bakken, USAID/Somalia Mission Director

Last updated: April 08, 2019

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