Golden statue of Justitia, the goddess of justice

Expanding access to justice

International regional law and access to justice in Latin America (DIRAJus IV)

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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2023 to 2025

  • Products and expertise

    Governance and democracy


Access to justice is a key factor in protecting human rights and upholding the rule of law. Economic, social and cultural rights in particular require fair, non-discriminatory and substantively correct decisions from legal institutions. At the same time, these institutions must be accessible to all people and the legal system must respond quickly and fairly. This is crucial for peaceful and inclusive societies.

Although some progress has been made in favour of disadvantaged groups, the standards that apply to human rights in the Americas are not sufficiently implemented everywhere.


Regional and national legal institutions increasingly apply the standards of the Inter-American Human Rights System.


The project promotes approaches that support legal institutions in developing and implementing Inter-American standards in a comprehensive and gender-responsive manner – for example on care work, climate change and the right to health. To this end, it focuses on three areas that are expected to improve rights and living conditions in the pilot countries of Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia and Mexico.

The first focus area promotes the clear definition of standards. To this end, the project works with the Inter-American Human Rights System and strengthens its dialogue with government institutions and civil society in the pilot countries so that they accept and apply the standards.

As part of the second priority area, the project supports cross-border exchanges among civil society groups on successful procedures that have improved access to justice for disadvantaged groups. This ensures the further advancement of social justice in Latin America.

The third thematic focal point integrates legal instruments developed by the project into the work done by the Inter-American and national legal institutions over the long term, including judicial schools and universities in the pilot countries. These tools enable legal practitioners to enforce economic, social and cultural rights more effectively.

Last update: October 2023

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