Reuters: Justice out of reach for two in three, U.N. report says


By Ellen Wulfhorst

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — Two in three people lack access to justice — with stateless, enslaved and war-affected people worst hit — according to research released on Monday that showed the challenge of achieving the United Nations’ goal of justice for all.

More than five billion people fall into a “justice gap”, unable to resolve disputes from land grabs to violent crime, said the Task Force on Justice, part of a partnership of U.N. members, civil groups and the private sector.

Providing access to justice for all is one of a slew of ambitious global goals, along with ending hunger and gender inequality, that U.N. members have set out to achieve by 2030.

A high-level summit meeting on the progress of the goals is slated for later this month, when countries will be asked to accelerate their plans.

The task force tallied up 5.1 billion people who lack justice, including more than one billion without legal identities and more than 2 billion working informally without contracts and labor law protection.

More than 2 billion have no legal proof of their housing or land rights, more than 40 million are trapped in modern slavery, 12 million lack national identities and more than 200 million live in societies with no rule of law, it said.

Also, 1.5 billion people have a justice problem they cannot solve because they do not know where to go or because the system is expensive or unfair, it said, noting that the categories overlapped.

As a result, people are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation and miss out on economic opportunities. Violent crimes go unreported, and disputes involving land, neighbors or families go unresolved, it said.

Read the full article at: