WHAT WE DO
LEEG-net's main focus is on fostering legal innovation and empowerment of the poor and marginalized groups towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Realizing the SDGs: The case for promoting legal innovation and empowerment
in a human rights-based context
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is grounded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the SDGs “seek to realize the human rights of all”.
The focus on legal innovation is an ongoing quest for new strategies and ways of thinking about what the law can do in the development realm. The focus on empowerment is an attempt to make the law work for the poor and disadvantaged groups by enhancing their capacity to resist poverty and get over it. LEEG-net links the two themes by virtue of their shared importance in finding solutions to sustainable development challenges.
We believe that there is an urgent need for new and innovative thinking, and a great need to empower the poor and disadvantaged groups if the world is to successfully meet the "greatest global challenge of eradicating poverty including extreme poverty" as envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
As noted in the preamble to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, “Eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development”. In line with this acknowledgement, a commitment to ending poverty can be seen as the unifying thread that runs throughout the 17 SDGs and their 169 targets.
In this context, LEEG-net generally addresses all of the seventeen SDGs with a particular focus on advancing the achievement of the following Goals:
Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all
Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies
Goal 17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
In association with a global network of consultants in law, business and economics, LEEG-net provides pro bono consulting services to government institutions of developing countries to undertake law revision and reforms aimed at making SDG-enabling effective legal frameworks by incorporating human rights-based approaches to development including the tools of legal and economic empowerment.
Legal empowerment takes place when marginalized people or groups use legal mobilization, i.e., law, legal systems and justice mechanisms to improve or transform their social, political or economic situations and escape poverty. The fact that legal provisions for securing a multitude of rights are enshrined in a national or state legal system does not necessarily mean that people are in a position to use them for their benefit. Legal systems in most developing countries are constrained by a range of different factors that deter empowerment, for instance, the absence or lack of effective laws (including non-codification of international covenants), constraints on access to courts, lack of legal awareness as well as legal assistance. We believe that effective legal frameworks are a prerequisite for empowering the poor and achieving Sustainable Development Goals.
Visit the SDG-enabling Law Reform Drive - a pro bono initiative of a consortium of international law firms.
LEEG-net campaigns for integrating a human rights-based approach through legal empowerment of people in the work of multilateral agencies and in public policy formulation in developing countries towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
To fulfill this task, LEEG-net’s team of consultants have developed an outline of a blueprint - the SDG Temple of Justice that seeks to leverage the human rights foundation of the SDGs through legal empowerment of people (including the poor and disadvantaged groups) towards realizing the 2030 Agenda.
This blueprint postulates the promotion of legal empowerment of people along the eight pillars of the Temple that depict gender equality, property rights, contract rights, business rights, labour rights, right to an effective remedy, right to information, and the right to development (including environmental concerns).
The preamble of 2030 Agenda states “Eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development”.
As two key means of meeting this challenge of eradicating poverty, LEEG-net advocates the promotion of (a) social protection systems, and (b) technological empowerment of people including the poor and disadvantaged groups by introducing innovative and inclusive solutions within a rights-based environment.
Social protection consists of policies and programs designed to reduce poverty and vulnerability by promoting efficient labour markets, reducing people's exposure to risks, and enhancing their capacity to manage economic and social risks, such as unemployment, exclusion, sickness, disability and old age (World Bank, 2001). For more information, please visit the Access 2 Social Protection Global Initiative's webpage.
LEEG-net adopts the working definition for 'technological empowerment' as the actions or process of strengthening the capacity of all people either individually or collectively to use the technology including information and communication technologies to advance their rights and interests; to improve their lives and livelihoods; and to alleviate or escape poverty.
Please visit A4DI (Action 4 Digital Inclusion), our pro-bono consulting service for national legislatures and government institutions of developing countries to help undertake the revision and reform of ICT laws aimed at promoting digital inclusion of people.