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Our work in Guinea

The ABA Rule of Law Initiative’s (ABA ROLI’s) Access to Justice and Human Rights programs span women’s rights, mining and transitional justice.

Increasing women’s access to justice

With funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), ABA ROLI is helping to build the capacity of Guinean women’s and human rights organizations to increase access to formal and informal justice mechanisms by employing a range of legal strategies—including legal aid clinics, community-based paralegal networks and strategic litigation—to protect and enforce women’s rights under Guinean law.

Protecting the rights of communities adversely impacted by industrial mining

While efforts have been made to increase transparency and good governance in Guinea’s extractive industries sector, industrial mining projects continue to impact the communities in which they are located. Following President Condé’s election, the Guinean government began the process of revising the country’s mining code and related secondary legislation. As part of this effort, ABA ROLI and the Guinean organization Le Centre du Commerce International pour le Développement (CECIDE or Center for International Commerce and Development) in 2012 assisted the government to draft legislation and policy documents that describe how the mining code’s provisions on environmental impact assessments, local development funds, and compensation and resettlement standards will be implemented in practice. With support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, ABA ROLI worked with CECIDE to solicit public input into the proposed policies and provided direct technical assistance to relevant ministries charged with the drafting process. 

Exploring participatory models of transitional justice

Additionally, ABA ROLI conducted a pilot project that considered how to use participatory research to involve communities in policymaking related to transitional justice. ABA ROLI, in partnership with Guinean human rights organization Les Mêmes Droits pour Tous (MDT or Equal Rights for All), supported a Guinean community’s efforts to examine how it can work with authorities to deal with the consequences of gross human rights violations. The pilot project was featured as a case study in a forthcoming ABA ROLI-authored USAID technical 

Criminal Law Reform and Anti-Human Trafficking

Guinea’s prison system is in urgent need of strengthening, with many prisoners held in illegal or prolonged pre-trial detention with little access to legal representation. The ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, is currently implementing a program to increase access to justice for those in wrongful detention. ABA ROLI is supporting the efforts of a local human rights group, Les Mêmes Droits pour Tous (MDT or Equal Rights for All), to create a network of community-based paralegals that provides free legal services to detainees in prisons in Kankan and N’Zérékoré. ABA ROLI also works to train prison guards and administrators on the rights afforded to prisoners and detainees under Guinean and international law.