PeaceLab: Justice for Peace – Closing the Global Justice Gap to Prevent Conflict and Instability


Over 5.1 billion people worldwide do not have meaningful access to justice. Preventive approaches in justice strategies are an effective way to tackle this global justice gap. Germany should invest in justice data and innovation as well as smarter justice financing. Successful examples should be showcased at the UN’s High-level Political Forum in July.

Two-thirds of the world’s population, over 5.1 billion people do not have meaningful access to justice. This global justice gap, presented in the report “Justice for All” of the Task Force on Justice, is a far cry from the goal of providing equal access to justice for all by 2030 (SDG16).

Photo: Bart Hoogveld

From justice for the few to justice for all

The global justice gap encompasses three categories of people, who lack meaningful access to justice in some way. Globally 1.5 billion people have justice problems they cannot resolve. A total of 4.5 billion people is effectively excluded, because they do not have the papers they need to enforce their rights. A further 253 million people live in situations of extreme injustice, because they are caught in modern slavery, are stateless or live in countries where they face the highest risks of violence. Around the world, women, children and marginalized groups find it hardest to access justice.

The reality is that current justice systems only provide justice for the few, while we need systems that provide justice for all. This requires a transformation to people-centered justice systems that focus on resolving people’s justice problems on the one hand and strengthen the preventative role of justice on the other.

Read the complete blog post by Pathfinders’ Maaike de Langen in PeaceLab: