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Create or modify infrastructure

Informal mechanisms can be adapted to include and reflect basic good practices related to infrastructure which exist in the formal courts. as they respond to cases of violence against women.

  • Safe spaces: Women and girls reporting violence should have a safe and confidential place to do so, whether they are seeking assistance from a formal court or from an informal practitioner. Capacity-building projects should help communities develop spaces or procedures through which women and girls can be assured of confidentiality and safety. This may mean creating relationships with medical providers and advocacy groups, among others.
  • Record keeping: States have a responsibility to gather information about violence against women, and the outcome of violence against women cases, including in  the informal sector. Projects to help informal mechanisms record how they deal with cases that involve violence against women are a powerful first step in examining how these systems can better serve women and girls. Projects should be creative in using new technologies to implement systems of record keeping for low literacy populations or communities without access to traditional record keeping infrastructure.

Rwanda – Proposed Phone Record Keeping System

In Rwanda, a proposed capacity-building project aims to increase the effectiveness of the abunzi local informal justice mechanism by creating a centralized phone database where local arbitrators can call in to record their decisions, which currently are usually hand-written and kept informally by the abunzi. The abunzi would orally record a brief description of the case, name the parties, and record the resolution. The local abunzi could then tag the oral recording with subject categories. Over time recorded decisions would be rated as best practices, and then made available for local abunzis to call in and review when they have a similar case.

 

Source: Jeffers and Agamanolis. 2009. Oral Wiki to Support Informal Justice Systems.