Equal access to justice for all is a key policy of the European Union: Ms. Anne Marchal

Arif Qureshi

Islamabad: Ms. Anne Marchal, Deputy Head of Mission, Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan said equal access to justice for all is a key policy of the European Union and we are delighted to work with our Pakistani partners to improve the capacity of the police and judiciary to provide the services to the Pakistani citizens they expect and deserve.

She expressed these views on grant of Twenty (€ 20) Million  by the European Union to assist for Rule of Law in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), and Baluchistan provinces.

She said I would particularly like to thank the Economic Affairs Division (EAD), the line ministries involved and the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan that designed the programme in close cooperation with us.

Mr. Noor Ahmed, Secretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Ms. Anne Marchal, Chargé d’Affaires of the European Union, welcomed the signing of a new EU Financing Agreement on “Rule of Law Support to Pakistan (RoL)” between the Government of Pakistan and the European Union said in a press release issued by European Union information center in Islamabad.

Mr. Noor Ahmed hailed EU and Pakistan’s long-term partnership and appreciated the EU specific sectorial interventions in Health, Education, Good Governance and Rule of Law under the Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP 2014-20).

The European Union will provide total grant assistance worth Euro Twenty (€ 20) Million (PKR 3.6 Billion) for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and its newly merged districts (EXFATA), as well as Baluchistan. The RoL Programme will be implemented over a period of five (05) years (2020-2024). This programme will support Pakistan’s efforts to improve the rule of law, access to justice, and delivery of timely justice in the two targeted Provinces, with a special focus on women, children and less privileged groups.

This programme will also provide technical assistance and capacity building to key government institutions in the security sector and the judiciary at federal & provincial level. Under this programme, the police and judiciary will be supported in becoming more efficient, accessible for all, and faster in terms of procedures. As part of the programme, software and IT solutions will be developed and made available, police and judiciary staff will be trained and model police stations will be established with dedicated desks for women.

The programme will also help citizens to better understand legal matters, their rights and the functioning of the legal system. This will be done through free legal aid, alternative dispute resolution and mobilizing paralegals who will support citizens with legal know-how. Women and less privileged citizens will benefit from this component of the programme in particular.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Women, the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) will implement the programme.

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