On 16-17 November 2021, the United Nations Human Rights Council will convene its third Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law on the theme of “Equal access to justice for all: a necessary element of democracy, rule of law and human rights protection”. In the context of COVID-19, this theme is as important as ever to inform responses to the pandemic and, more broadly, good governance and protection, respect, and promotion of human rights.

Access to justice is a human right in itself and, together with the rule of law, offers a concrete pathway to peace, good governance, human rights, democracy, and sustainable development. Thus, Sustainable Development Goal 16 – on access to justice and accountable institutions – is not only an end itself but is an essential enabler of human rights and the entire Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

IDLO, in cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and with the co-sponsorship of the Council’s Core Group on the Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law – Morocco, Norway, Peru, Republic of Korea, Romania, and Tunisia – is organizing this event to highlight the importance of equal access to justice for all and to provide an opportunity to stakeholders to suggest topics under the theme “Access to Justice” to be included in the agenda of the Forum.

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