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Through the United Nations Rule of Law Indicators Project, Vera seeks to advance the rule of law by providing national authorities, the United Nations, and donor countries with a practical way to identify the strengths of, and challenges to, their nation’s law enforcement agencies, judicial system, and correctional system. The project focuses on developing indicators—statistical references that present an overview of change in a given system—for criminal justice institutions, but does not strive to rank countries.

The project was launched in June 2008 as a joint initiative of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in cooperation with the Department of Political Affairs, the Office of Legal Affairs, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Development Program, the United Nations Development Fund for Women, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and the World Bank. It is currently being implemented in Haiti, Liberia, and South Sudan.

Why This Work Matters
In recent years, indicators have become an important tool for assessing progress in key areas of governance, including the rule of law, which is widely recognized as an essential condition for peace, stability, and opportunity. Recognizing that regions with limited data-collection capacity need an expansive, flexible set of indicators, the UN Rule of Law Indicators Project draws on a wide range of data sources to obtain an empirical and objective overview of law enforcement agencies, the judicial system and the prison system in a given country. By empowering national authorities to gauge these institutions’ performance and transformation over time, the project will provide an important complement to existing assessment tools.

Download United Nations Rule of Law Indicators Guide 
View the podcast of the guide’s release

For more information, please contact Caitlin Gokey.

Featured Expert

Vice President and Research Director

UN Secretary-General Lauds International Program’s Work

curly quote leftWe have made progress in helping vulnerable groups. But we need to do more to include their perspectives when we design rule-of-law activities and when we carry them out. We must also support innovative initiatives like the deployment of civilian justice and corrections experts on missions. And we should use the United Nations Rule of Law Indicators, designed to monitor criminal justice institutions, during and after conflicts.curly quote right

—Ban Ki-moon