Guinea-Bissau: Strengthening Justice and Security Sector Reform in Guinea Bissau


Guinea-Bissau is one of the poorest countries in the world. Civil war, multiple coups and assassinations and protracted unrest have created profound political instability and extremely fragile institutions. The aim of the Joint Programme was to strengthen Guinea-Bissau's justice system and improve access to justice, particularly for women and the poor. It sought to foster national ownership, promote stability, improve the rule of law and public security and help reintegrate ex-combatants.

The complexity of Guinea-Bissau’s situation makes efforts to improve governance contingent on reforming the security sector. The Joint Programme's strategy was based on transparency, equitable and accountable implementation, participatory and deliberative processes and gender- and conflict-sensitive approaches.

It focused in particular on supporting legislative reform to protect citizen's rights, improving security and law enforcement and strengthening civilian management and oversight of security institutions.

Main achievements included:

  • The programme facilitated the opening of five of Access to Justice Centers (CAJ) providing information, services and legal assistance to the poor. Training capacity was developed through the National Judicial Training Centre (CENFOJ).
  • The programme contributed to the passage of the law on female genital mutilation and the drafting of the law on domestic violence.  
  • The programme rehabilitated a building to house the state CENFOJ (Centro de Formação Judiciaria) to enable the organization to expand its mandate, including the training of magistrates and legal assistants who work through the CAJ to protect the rights of the most vulnerable populations.
  • Significant progress was made with respect of the rights of women and the incorporation of the gender dimension in institutions and legal frameworks for the protection of women's rights.
  • A consortium was created to lead an awareness campaign on women's rights consisting of two national NGOs, the Guinean League of Human Rights and the National Committee for the Abandonment of Harmful Practices (CNAPN). Nearly 150,000 people, 52% of them women, were reached across the country.
  • The programme helped strengthen the work of the steering committee for security sector reform as well as supporting an information campaign on security reform in the capital and in the provinces.


Click for more detailed results from the Joint Programmes in Guinea-Bissau (in French).




The Joint Programme in action


Programme Dates 14 May 2009 - 14 May 2013
Net funded amount $3,854,817
Participating UN agencies UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women, UNODC
National partners Le Ministère de la Justice, le Ministère de l’Intérieur, le Ministère de la Défense (Secrétariat Technique du Comité de pilotage pour la réforme du secteur de la défense et de la sécurité), le Ministère de la Femme, de la Famille et de la Solidarité Sociale et l’Assemblée Nationale
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