|Overview : |
In Mozambique, women and girls between 10 and 24 years old are regularly subjected to physical and sexual violence and early sexual initiation, leading to high levels of early marriage, early pregnancy and HIV and AIDS. It was in this context that Moçambique joined the Spotlight Initiative, a Global Program resulting from a partnership between the European Union and the United Nations which aims at contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Agenda 2030, specifically SDGs 5 and 16.
In Mozambique, the program was launched on 8 March 2019 and is implemented in collaboration with the Government, namely the main sectors of implementation of the Multisectorial Mechanism of Response to Gender-Based Violence, namely, the Ministry of Gender (Including INAS), Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs (including the Instituto Do Patrocínio E Assistência Jurídica - IPAJ - and the CFJJ), and the Ministry of Interior.
Other sectors involved are the Ministry of Economy and Finance (including the INE), Ministry of Education and Human Development (MINEDH), Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education (including INEP and Universities), Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Youth, Ministry of Communication and Transport (including ICS, TVM, RM).
Various NGOs will be also partnering to the program through the National Reference Group of the Civil Society. Other relevant State Non-Governmental Institutions are: The Parliament, the Ombudsman's Office, the Supreme Court, the Attorney General's Office, the Supreme Council of Magistrates, other Legal Entities (IPAJ), Lawyers), Family and Juvenile Courts.
To challenge the phenomena VAWG (violence against women and girls), the the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) have embarked the Spotlight Initiative. The Spotlight initiative is a global a joint multi-year program which aims at eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls. The focus of this initiative is to contribute to a country where all women and girls are free from all forms of gender-based sexual violence (SGBV) and harmful practices so that they can enjoy sexual and reproductive health and rights.
The main focus areas of the Spotlight Initiative are:
- Preventing Gender-Based Sexual Violence;
- Preventing Premature Marriages;
- Adolescents and young women (10-24);
- Sexual and reproductive health rights (DSSR);
- Transformative prevention and integrated response.
In Mozambique, the program is being implemented at the central level and in three selected provinces, namely Gaza, Manica and Nampula because - for the Mozambican program - they offer opportunities to involve population at greater risk on a significant scale. The following districts were identified by province:
- Nampula: Angoche, Mogovolas, Moma and Nampula City (provincial capital)
- Manica: Mossurize (border district); Tambara and Chimoio (capital of the province, with focus on Gondola), and
- Gaza: Chongoene, Chicualacuala (border district) and Xai-Xai (provincial capital).
The main strategic results expected with the implementation of the Spotlight Initiative in Mozambique is to catalyze and strengthen multisectoral responses to put an end to one of the most widespread violations of human rights in the world, specifically: (i) strengthening the legislative framework and policies; (ii) building gender-sensitive state institutions; (iii) supporting evidence-based prevention programs to promote gender-equitable social norms, attitudes and behaviors; (iv) ensuring essential and quality services for victims; (v) eliminating gaps in relation to the lack of data; (vi) and strengthening women's rights groups and civil society organizations working for change.
Consistency with existing programs: Synergies and complementarities with existing and new relevant programs will be developed to implement this initiative, especially to avoid duplication of activities and transaction costs for Implementing Partners.
Access to justice and law is a basic principle of the rule of law as well as a right recognized under the main international and regional human rights instruments. As a guarantee of the effectiveness of individual and collective rights and the rule of law, the Government of Mozambique considers access to justice and law a fundamental right recognized by the Constitution of the Republic of Mozambique (CRM), and is committed to protecting access justice and to ensure its protection through the various political and regulatory instruments of the sector, including the Government's Five-Year Plan 2015-2019, whose strategic objective IV aims to “ensure closer and fairer justice for all, focusing on effectiveness of fundamental rights, duties and freedoms of citizens whose materialization prioritizes the need to ensure greater access of citizens to justice and law and to promote research projects on justice matters ”, and the Integrated Strategic Plan of the Administration System of Justice.
Notwithstanding its importance and interventions by the Mozambican Government during the last quinquennium, access to continuing justice is an exclusive right for some and not comprehensive. Some of the problems of access to justice for the Mozambican citizen are:
- Limited citizens' access to local justice services and legal aid and legal assistance services: There is a significant gap between the demand for justice and the system's ability to meet this demand on a national scale. This is mainly linked to (i) the poor availability of human resources; ii) the significant geographical distance between the courts and large portions of the population and the predominant use of the Portuguese language in the courts, unknown to the population; iii) the inadequacy of the legal regime for exemption from court fees remains one of the main factors limiting citizens' right to access to justice.
- Weak concrete and indiscriminate judicial enforcement and cross-cutting issues: There is weak capacity of judges, prosecutors and lawyers in the interpretation and application of national and international law and human rights standards which have important cross-cutting ramifications for the criminal justice system. Mozambique and in the sphere of individual and social rights. Cross-cutting areas of the sector are the national response to domestic and gender-based violence and the fight against HIV / AIDS, the dominance of law enforcement and jurisprudence in these areas still weak, and the structural problem of overcrowding in the Mozambican prison system. Mozambique suffers a structural condition of overcrowding of prisons and as a result detention conditions barely meet minimum human rights standards, in particular with regard to access to water, food, medical care and sanitation, with a high coefficient of the prison population affected by HIV / AIDS. Within the scope of the Legal Reform underway in the country, the Penal Code (Law 35/2014), which establishes, among other institutes, alternative penalties to imprisonment was approved. Nevertheless, its implementation has been slow on the part of the judges. These challenges, together with the exuberance of the procedural volume for each magistrate, determine a solid stagnation of judicial execution. Moreover, the manifest judicial corruption undermines all reform efforts and the hope of an equitable justice.
- Limited availability of quality data on access to justice, especially existing justice services for the most vulnerable groups: there is a lack of available data from the justice sector on what types of cases are reported by whom and subsequently tried; which aggravates evidence-based planning and policy-making, in particular to secure responses in the areas of interventions for women, youth, victims of gender-based violence and domestic violence, children as well as people affected by HIV / AIDS, people with disabilities and inmates among other vulnerable.
The lack of timely and relevant legal and human rights information and data for evidence-based planning and policy-making is a major problem for the development of evidence-based sectoral policies that can be monitored, evaluated and improved. There is therefore a need for further investigation into access to justice in Mozambique.
Accordingly, the MJCR intends to prepare a Baseline Study on Citizens' Access to Justice Services 2015 – 2019. The study will be conducted with the support of the Project “Strengthening Access to Justice, Promotion and Human Rights Protection 2018-2021”, activity 1.2.1. The project was launched in November 2018 and aims at strengthening access to justice and the promotion and protection of human rights with a focus on women, PLHIV, prisoners and other vulnerable groups, as well as to strengthen the capacity of lawmakers and law enforcement agents to prevent and combat gender-based violence and to deal with situations arising from stigma and discrimination associated with HIV and AIDS in Mozambique.
The baseline will contribute to the following project results:
Outcome 1: “Increased Access to Justice at national and local level, focusing on leaving no one behind”, Output 1.2: “Strengthening Provision of Justice Services at Local Level”.
These TORs also allow, within the scope of the Spotlight Initiative, to implement Activity 5.2.4: Implementing the justice sector baseline to assess the current state of justice services.
Outcome 2: “Quality, disaggregated and globally comparable data on different forms of VSCMR, including VSBG / PN, collected, analyzed and used in accordance with international standards to inform laws, policies and programs.”
Output 2.1: “Quality data on girls and women victims of sexual violence prevalence and/or incidence, including GBV, are analyzed and made publicly available for monitoring and reporting on SDG indicators 5.2 and to inform evidence-based decision making.”
3.SCOPE OF WORK
The final foal of this consultancy is to support the MJCR in the elaboration of a baseline study on the access to justice in Mozambique, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable persons, in the period 2015-2019. This baseline study will serve as an evidence-based lobbying and advocacy tool and will inform the project as a baseline for monitoring and evaluation. This would make a major contribution to increasing access to legal justice as well as will permit to monitor relevant developments in improving access to justice for people living with HIV-AIDS, victims of HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination, access to justice for vulnerable groups, access to justice for girls and women victims of sexual and gender-based violence.