Youtube channel for UNDP Legal Empowerment of the Poor

In addition to the website I announced earlier, UNDP a few months ago has also set up a youtube channel under the username LegalEmpowerment1. You can subscribe to it. I'm hoping that there will be more useful and powerful content than the typical conference/workshop presentations and PR-type interviews that are currently uploaded. While still pretty PR-ish, this video about the Kenyan Toi Market (which includes Madeline Albright  giving a speech), and which subject matter was used as a case study in the Commission's Report, is interesting- the on-the-ground stories can be replicated in Asia and other developing countries.

UNDP Legal Empowerment Website:

I first blogged about the UN Commission of the Legal Empowerment of the Poor in a 2005 post here, and pointed readers to their website through my 2006 post here. Since then I've posted some of their followings and also some activities I've been involved with. Following the Forum in Davos in January 2007 and the launch of their report earlier this year in June (2008), the Commission announced the closure of the Commission site (which will be archived and still accessible), and the launch of the UNDP Legal Empowerment site.  

I will write more about the report soon (although I'm sure that there will be articles on the internet soon if not already), but for now, I would say that I'm pretty impressed at how methodological the group had been in terms of meeting its mandate and timeline. More than anything, including substance, I am most glad that this issue has been put into the global agenda. I'm excited to see how it will evolve and how I will continue to be a part of it.

Microjustice4All Website Launched

In addition to conversations about launching a second pilot after its year or so experience in Bolivia, ILA has launched a website for microjustice called Microjustice4All ( There is some basic information, but I would like to introduce the concept of microjustice (though I've blogged about it previously) from the horse's mouth:

What is Microjustice

In countries where a large part of the population lacks sufficient resources to subsist, access to a series of basic rights (like civil documentation and registration of property) often becomes a very difficult task; full of obstacles, lacking information and often financially inaccessible. In other words, for people in the most vulnerable groups it is especially difficult to exercise rights which are officially recognized and provided by the State.

What is Microjustice

The main concept of microjustice is empowering the poor through giving them access to their rights. Inspired by microfinance, microjustice is an international initiative that aims to facilitate access to the basic legal needs for the poorest sectors of the population and, in doing so, allowing them the same enjoyment of rights as the rest of the population. This initiative, as that of microservices in general, is based on the principles of solidarity and sustainability.

The UNDP recognises four main pillars of microjustice: access to right, property right, labour right and business right. Locally, many other kinds of rights (like educational rights, reproductive rights, rights of religion) can be relevant.

Why use the term Micro?

Micro does not refer to Justice itself, which is neither micro nor macro but rather an all encompassing term. The term Micro is chosen referring to:

  1. The minimum or basic needs of people for them to feel citizens in full enjoyment of their rights

  2. A service provided on an individual level, developing individualized solutions

  3. Emphasize the parallel that exists between Microjustice, microfinance and microinsurances and borrowing from them the term micro.