The Campaign to Decriminalise Poverty and Status welcomes the adoption of the first-ever resolution on access to justice for all by the United Nations General Assembly. This resolution supports the advancement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, whose overarching vision is to “leave no one behind” and in particular Goal 16, which promotes equal access to justice for all.
Campaign partners and several others worked tirelessly to ensure the adoption of a resolution that would drive progress to address barriers to equal access to justice, including racism and gender discrimination. This included using recommendations outlined in the Cape Declaration to fuel conversation and influence thinking and language included in the adopted resolution. Though initial negotiations were challenging, this resolution accomplishes two critical things:
- It makes clear that discrimination and disparate treatment are key drivers of inequity in criminal justice systems globally, and that states are obligated to take action.
- It calls for a “meeting of experts… to share information on challenges, lessons learned, best practices and enabling factors needed to enhance the functioning of the criminal justice systems to ensure equal access to justice for all.”
We welcome and celebrate the adoption of this historic resolution! Now, our work continues to turn these words on paper into action to drive meaningful changes in people’s lives.
Photo Credit: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré