Since Guinea declared independence in 1958, its political history has been marred by authoritarian regimes and characterized by gross violations of human rights, corruption and the brutal suppression of opposition. Following the election of Alpha Condé as the country’s first democratically-elected president in November 2010, Guinea remains in a state of political transition, demonstrated by recent protests over legislative elections held in September 2013. Political stalemate has made it difficult for Guinea to overcome key development challenges, which include transforming its vast resource wealth into a vehicle of development and strengthening democratic institutions, such as a functioning court system.
The ABA Rule of Law Initiative’s (ABA ROLI’s) work in Guinea is geared toward strengthening the justice system’s capacity to protect the rights of vulnerable communities. ABA ROLI’s current programs use paralegals—non-lawyers trained in core legal principles and skills—to improve women’s access to justice and to address illegal prolonged pre-trial detention. ABA ROLI has also helped the Guinean government draft mining legislation that protects the economic and social rights of communities adversely affected by industrial mining.