This sub-project aims to strengthen access to justice for vulnerable people in Tunisia through a participatory and human rights-based approach. In order to achieve this objective, the Association NESS pour la Prévention Combinée (NESS) will deliver a series of training sessions to 25 civil society organizations (CSOs) to enhance their knowledge on key human rights principles, constitutional rights, related advocacy and available support services.
Tunisia enjoys the second-highest human development score in Africa. Since the one-party regime was overthrown in late 2011, the country has embarked on a tortuous transition towards democracy. A new progressive constitution was approved in early 2014, consolidating women's rights and bringing innovations in a number of areas, including open government, state decentralization and sustainable use of natural resources.
Survivor-centered Justice: Why Is It Essential for Ending Gender-based Violence?
Following the Tunisian revolution of 2011, the new Constitution adopted in 2014 aimed to embed the principle of equality between women and men as well as ensuring the State’s obligation to protect women’s rights. However, despite the reforms to the legal framework in Tunisia to increase protection for women against gender-based violence, justice sector professionals, particularly judges and bailiffs, have limited knowledge, skills and capacity to act as effective gender justice agents, as stipulated by the new Law.
Violence against women has long been recognized as a global epidemic, and the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly escalated threats to women’s safety, security and access to justice.
Tunisia adopted its first national procedure manual for women’s shelters, as a result of IDLO’s program to enhance women’s protection against gender-based violence. This work was made possible by funding from the Government of Italy.
Since the revolution in 2011, Tunisia has experienced a period of significant political transition and change culminating in the adoption of a new constitution in 2014, which called for justice reform and protection of women’s rights. However, the practical application of the framework for legal assistance in Tunisia demonstrates the insufficiency of existing relevant mechanisms. Therefore, there is the strong need to empower women to access justice and claim their rights.
“Women’s participation is not simply ‘the right thing to do’. It can also lead to better justice outcomes and experiences,” stated IDLO’s Director of Programs Erwin van der Borght at the opening of the Regional Symposium of African Women Judges held in Fes, Morocco on October 10, 2019.
By Nada Riahi, IDLO Program Manager for Tunisia, and Raffaella Pizzamiglio, IDLO Research Associate
Tunisian women professionals have made significant strides in their rate of participation in the justice sector in recent years.
IDLO and Tunisia’s Ministry of Development, Investment and International Cooperation have signed a new cooperation agreement to strengthen the country’s capacity to negotiate and implement international investment treaties.