The international community recognized the importance of legal aid for the poorest people as a precondition for sustainable development already in 2005. The Commission on the Legal Empowerment of the Poor was established under the auspices of the United Nations Development Program and its 2008 Report illustrates the importance of providing legal services to the poor. The Comission defined four main basic legal needs:

  1. Civil and identity-related papers
  2. Property-related documents (land and house registration)
  3. Income generation and registration of legal personality, including business registration and
  4. Worker’s rights,

Which are the legal issues that MJ4All focuses in. Inspired by this, the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda identified inclusive development, ‘leaving no one behind’ and legal empowerment of the poor as key agenda points.

Global Goal 16 is the logical continuation of this idea, and it is unsurprising to find core principles from the legal empowerment of the poor theory embedded into the wording of Global Goal 16.

What was done at the policy level for Global Goal 16 was similarly done by MJ4All. Indeed, MJ4All developed its Legal Inclusion Mapping Method, as an implementation method inspired by its work in the field during its Legal Empowerment Programs, in order to help countries and their citizens achieve Global Goal 16.


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