PLEAD - a strategic partnership towards the promotion of access to justice in Kenya
In March 2018, the European Union (EU), Government of Kenya and United Nations launched the Programme for Legal Empowerment and Aid Delivery in Kenya (PLEAD), a five-year EUR34.15million programme. This is the most extensive justice programme funded by the EU in Sub-Saharan Africa. PLEAD is anchored in Kenya’s Vision 2030 and supports government reforms aimed attransforming the criminal justice sector for the benefit of all citizens.
Under the PLEAD programme, the UNDP Amkeni Wakenya CSO facility seeks to respond to Outcome 1: Enhanced access to justice especially for the poor and vulnerable, focused on legl aid. This is achieved through collaboration with the Department of Justice through implementation of the new legal and regulatory framework on legal aid; and, engaging Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to provide complimentary legal aid services including raising awareness of the Legal Aid Act 2016, training legal aid providers, public legal education and establishing legal aid information centers. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Eastern Africa office addresses Outcome 2: Strengthened court administration and case management; Outcome 3: Increased quality and efficiency in the criminal justice system; and, Outcome 4: Improved coherance and cooperation throughout the justice sector.
Strong partnerships and coordination between formal and informal justice institutions is essential to realisation of justice for all. Thus, the Programme for Legal Aid and Delivery in Kenya comes at a very opportune time as the Government of Kenya starts the implementation of the Legal Aid Act 2016. UNDP takes immense pride to be part of this invaluable partnership that aims to enhance access to legal aid and justice especially for the poor, marginalised and vulnerable in the 12 focal counties Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Uasin Gishu, Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Tana River, Lamu, Isiolo and Marsabit. Under PLEAD, UNDP is committed to working in partnership with the Government of Kenya, European Union, UNODC, CSOs and all legal institutions by strengthening institutional and organisational capacities that will in return safeguard efficiency and effectiveness of the justice system in Kenya.
So far over 30 CSO organisations have been awarded grants for implementation of various activities for the next three years. UNDP will ensure a sustained focus on special interest groups through annual grants to five CSOs, to promote awareness and advocacy towards provision of legal aid; and assistance to prisoners, persons living with HIV & AIDS, children in conflict with the law, among others. Building the capacity of CSOs in legal aid and assistance, monitoring and evaluation, financial management and communication for development are key interventions in this regard.