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Human Rights, Inclusion and Empowerment

Access to Justice

Data shows that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region performs low in terms of access to justice. Progress has been slower than in other parts of the world. This makes it difficult for rights-holders in the MENA region to turn to the courts to address violations of their rights, to hold duty-bearers accountable, and to settle disputes peacefully through the justice system.

Through the HRDTF grant, the project assesses vulnerable people’s access to legal aid in MENA, which is an important tool to empower rightsholders to enter and navigate the justice system successfully. It analyzes the practice of small claims procedures in the region and takes stock of court user surveys and their implementation in MENA. The grant assesses these against international good practice and draws recommendations from the comparison.

The research and its human rights dimension will be applied to inform Systematic Country Diagnostics and Country Partnership Frameworks in MENA as well as client government reform initiatives, and increase engagement with civil society organizations in MENA.


Power Sector Recovery

Zimbabwe is a country with huge renewable energy resources potential, yet exploitation of these resources for addressing energy poverty is negligible due to economic challenges.

The grant will use a HRBA when assisting in the development of the National Electrification Strategy (NES), Integrated Energy Sector Gender Plan, Bankable Investment Plan, and National Electrification Program (NEP).

The grant will increase the knowledge and learning on how to advance human rights within the energy sector. The NES and NEP will create a new focus and momentum towards achieving national energy access targets specifically focusing on increasing affordable access to energy for marginalized groups. It also aims to increase participation in national electrification planning and establishing improved accountability measures for energy service provision.


Human Trafficking

Trafficked individuals are forced, deceived, or otherwise coerced into being under the control of another person for the purposes of exploitation, often under the guise of relocating to a new life. The available evidence links trafficking to a range of development issues, including poverty and vulnerability, human capital investment, gender inequality, and gender-based violence.

The grant will conduct the first World Bank global analysis of human trafficking using data from the International Organization of Migration (IOM) and, start a dialogue on the role that the World Bank Group can play in preventing human trafficking through lending operations and policy dialogue with client governments.

The expectation is that this analysis of the IOM data will inform and lead into primary qualitative research among human trafficking victims to better understand the micro-level risks and drivers. The work will be complemented by qualitative work to generate a better understanding of how information, norms, and risk preferences affect trafficking


Indigenous Peoples and Land Rights

Indigenous Peoples (IPs) in the Democratic Republic of Congo live in a context of marginalization and discrimination. Their progressive eviction from their ancestral lands has led to a substantial loss of access to the natural resources that they need for their economic and cultural survival.

The grant will support the inclusion of IPs in the policy dialogue on land tenure and forest, build IP expertise related to land tenure rights, and strengthen governance capacity of IP organizations.

The work aims to ensure that land rights of the IPs are better recognized in the legal framework and the IP representative organizations are more legitimate, transparent, financially effective, and sustainable.

Through another grant, a flagship report on human rights-based approaches to addressing emerging issues in land conflicts in FCV contexts will be developed. The report will include key international and regional/national norms and human rights principles relevant such as the rights to property, equality, non-discrimination, reparations and due process.

These grants will provide task team leads of lending operations the knowledge necessary to identify when and how rights-based approaches to land can be integrated and to develop and effectively implement such initiatives.



Digital and infrastructure inclusion to enhance human rights for Roma

The Roma are Europe’s largest ethnic minority and Roma households remain among the poorest in the region. Emerging data suggest that infrastructure gaps are often a missing link to realize the human rights of Roma – and a lack of digital infrastructure has become particularly debilitating for Roma communities in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The HRIE Umbrella is financing a grant, entitled Digital and Infrastructure Inclusion to Enhance Human Rights for Roma, to generate evidence on how digital infrastructure and adequate housing and living conditions can contribute to promote the human rights and the development of Roma communities in Bulgaria. The grant supports internal learning on the relationship between human rights and infrastructure for colleagues in the ECA region working in the Digital Development GP and the Social Sustainability and Inclusion GP , and is developing policy recommendations for digital infrastructure and adequate housing for inclusion in Bulgaria. Findings from this engagement have informed the Bulgaria Systematic Country Diagnostic update as well as a Policy Note for Roma Inclusion in Bulgaria that will serve as the basis for engaging the incoming Bulgarian government on this agenda.