Access to Justice and Confidence Building in Kassala State

Fast Facts:
Project document and reports available upon request
Location: Kassala, Eastern Sudan
Duration: September 2007 – December 2012
Focus area: Democratic Governance
Contributions(USD): DFID : 400,000
NET :1,098,096.14
NOR : 709,701.49
UNDP: 788,816.46
Partners: Government of Red Sea, Kassala and Gardaief States, University of Kassala, Police of Red Sea, Kassala and Gardaief States,
Community Based Organizations (El Sharq Centre for Justice and Confidence, Zenab Women for Development Organization, Gedaref State)
Delivery(USD): 2011: 1,300,430
2010: 549,032
2009: 1,152,537
2008: 1,084,069
2007: 19,760
Contact person in UNDP: Noha Abdelgabar, Programme Officer,

Surayo.Buzurukova, Regional Programme Manager, East Region,
The rule of law institutions in Kassala State suffer from major institutional and operational capacity deficits, while customary mechanisms have been marginalized or dysfunctional. Kassala State is inhabited by ethically and culturally diverse groups, including the Beja, Rashaida, Arabs and Nubians tribes, with a large concentration of Eritrean and Ethiopian refugees and IDPs. Over the last two decades, the Kassala State faced severe setbacks in realizing the benefits of development and securing sustainable livelihoods for its population. According to Kassala State Ministry of Social Welfare, the poverty rate is over 83%. Natural disasters as well as regional and civil conflicts have contributed to this state of insecurity, coupled with the lack of resources emanating from the State and the central government.

In 1997, low-intensity conflict in Eastern Sudan began between local movement and the central government over issues revolving around political, social and economic marginalization, and demands for fair and equitable sharing of power and wealth. In 2006, the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement (ESPA) was signed between the Government of National Unity and the Eastern movement known as the Eastern Front. The ESPA offers opportunities for changes in the Eastern Sudan through wealth sharing, power sharing, and participation of Eastern Sudanese at the federal level. Kassala State faces formidable challenges in building strong rule of law institutions and ensuring human security. UNDP established a presence in Kassala State in November 2005 and launched the “Strengthening Access to Justice and Confidence Building in Eastern Sudan” project with the support of the Netherlands Government, UK Government, the European Commission and Norwegian Embassy.

• Enhance access to operational legal aid system for vulnerable and marginalized groups, especially at community level;
• Promote the knowledge of Kassala State rule of law institutions and communities on basic human rights principles;
• Develop the institutional capacity of Kassala State key rule of law institutions (the Police, the Ministry of Justice at State level, the State Judiciary) to build trust and confidence in the legal system;
• Enhance the capacity of Kassala State Legislative Council to enact legislation in accordance with the Sudanese Constitution and international norms and standards;
• Organize events to raise awareness on Sudan Eastern Peace Agreement

Snapshots of the project's major achievements
• The Justice and Confidence Centre (JCC) established in Kassala and Gedaref States and managed by a UNDP supported national NGO, handled 1,200 cases (family cases, criminal cases, administrative cases, employment cases, civil cases) over the course of five years and 900 cases were settled successfully. 200 staff paralegals mediated disputes, trained and supported 600 community-based volunteers and 500 traditional leaders at the village level on topics such as: basic human rights, property rights, women rights.
• “Peace to your Home” radio programme has been successfully completed in Kassala, Gedaref and Red Sea States. The aim of the programme was to help the democratic development of Sudan through the promotion of the rule of law and strengthening freedom of speech in each State: Gedaref, Kassala and Red Sea. The programme consists of daily one-hour programs which broadcast on the State networks of Radio the three states.
• Established a gender-based violence working group in Kassala and Red Sea States; and an awareness raising campaign on the importance of formal education for girls and boys was conducted.
• To support the development of State legal aid criteria and the review of the law on disables and child law several consultations conducted with the participation of lawyers’ networks, bar associations, private lawyers and community groups of Red Sea State. As a result the draft of the concept on the Legal Aid has been developed.
• To strengthen and expand the mechanisms that people can use to demand accountability, development of the capacity of non-governmental organization is combined with micro-grant for the provision of legal aid services and women empowerment.
• One week cleanliness campaign “Attitudinal Change towards a Clean Environment while promoting the Rule of Law” to celebrate The Day of Rule of Law conducted. More than 3000 citizens took part in the campaign by cleaning up over 51 areas of Kassala town and further continued in other 10 localities. The outcome of the activity continuation of monthly campaign on cleaning the city and to also write and produce the monthly bulletin at Universities or Colleges with photos illustrating the job, what it looks like in the city and what as a citizen they should bear in mind when it comes to improving the situation
• Five paralegal committees established within localities in New Halfa, Gihrba, Telkook, Rural Kassala, and Wad Elhelaiw of Kassala State.
• More than fifty trainings on the counselling and the women participation in reconciliation and peacekeeping conducted in the following localities of Kassala State: Rural Kassala; Wad Elhelaiw; Ghirba; Aroma and Atbara River. As the result of the trainings the focal points have been established in the abovementioned localities.
• Promotion of basic human rights, peace-building, conflict prevention, confidence building amongst communities and rule of law were enhanced through innovative means such as play roles and games amongst school and universities students. In this regard one football game conducted.
• Set of workshops on the community policing conducted in Kassala State. 200 members of communities benefited from the workshops As results of the workshops on community policing the brigade team/groups in 10 communities has been established for the support of police in the community policing activities. The special group for SGBV cases established to support related cases.
• 35% of rural residents including women and youth enhanced their knowledge in Legal Aid. Moreover, 25% of vulnerable population has access to legal aid through the paralegals groups in villages of Kassala State

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