The World Justice Challenge 2021: Advancing the Rule of Law in a Time of Crisis is a global competition to identify, recognize, and promote good practices and high-impact projects and policies that protect and advance the rule of law in the face of an unprecedented worldwide pandemic.
This year, WJP and its thematic partners selected The International Legal Foundation as one 30 finalists from a pool of 425 submissions from 114 countries. These 30 projects were chosen for their demonstrated impact in advancing the rule of law in four thematic areas affected by the COVID-19 pandemic: access to justice for all, accountable governance, fundamental rights and non-discrimination, and anti-corruption and open government. An additional ten projects were chosen as Honorable Mentions.
The ILF’s project, Combating Gender Discrimination in the Criminal Justice System by Providing Holistic Defense and Support Services, seeks to ensure that formerly incarcerated women and girls in Afghanistan are provided with a safe and successful transition to their communities. Women in Afghanistan faced unfair prosecution and incarceration and high levels of gender-based violence even before COVID-19, and have been further marginalized and threatened during the pandemic. This project will improve the life circumstances of women and girls released from prison by ensuring they have safe housing, and by assisting them with any corollary legal needs, including divorce or child custody, and connecting them with medical, psycho-social, or other critical support.
A panel of expert judges will select five winning organizations from the pool of 30 finalists, including one for each theme. One winner will receive WJP's first-ever Ruth Bader Ginsburg Legacy Prize, and a sixth winner will be selected from the finalists through a popular vote by WJP's global rule of law network. Members of the public can request their ballot and cast their votes here until April 29, 2021 until 5 pm EDT.
Winners will be announced the week of May 24. Each winning organization will receive a $20,000 cash prize and opportunities for networking support from the World Justice Project throughout the year.