The ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) is working to tackle underlying systemic weaknesses in the Central African Republic’s justice sector to improve access to justice for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence while strengthening the ability of justice sector actors to process criminal cases. ABA ROLI seeks to build the capacity of justice and security actors, including police investigators, prosecutors, judicial authorities, civil society organizations and bar associations, through trainings and organizational mentorship. In addition, in partnership with other organizations working with the country’s civil society leaders and with support from U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, ABA ROLI is engaged in a short-term program seeking to strengthen the capacity of civil society leaders to promote the interests of remote rural communities and marginalized groups in national dialog processes. This effort specifically fosters civil society participation in the ongoing national consultation process for constitutional reform.
In October 2014, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) began a two-year program focused on strengthening the justice sector and combatting impunity in the Central African Republic. Supported by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, the program will incorporate legal aid and psychological counseling for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), targeted trainings for justice and security actors in key aspects of investigation, prosecution and adjudication, and community-based activities designed to increase public awareness of both national SGBV-related laws and services available to survivors. ABA ROLI is working to establish relationships with local government and civil society organizations and to launch legal aid clinics and networks of paralegals in the capital city of Bangui. The clinics and paralegals will provide holistic services to survivors, including legal aid, psychological counseling and referrals to medical and social services.