Press Release - New International Task Force on Justice to tackle problem of four billion people living outside protection of law

BUENOS AIRES, 20 FEBRUARY 2018: An International Task Force on Justice was launched in Buenos Aires today. It is being co-chaired by H.E. Germán Carlos Garavano Minister of Justice and Human Rights of Argentina, Ms. Hina Jilani of The Elders, H.E. Sigrid Kaag Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of The Netherlands and H.E. Joseph Kamara Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of Sierra Leone.

The Task Force is an initiative of Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, a group of national governments, international organizations and networks committed to achieving the aims set out in the Sustainable Development Goals to provide access to justice for all.

“Justice is the missing link in every effort to defeat poverty. Without increased justice, it will be impossible to deliver global commitments made in the Sustainable Development Goals for people, planet, prosperity and peace,” said Mr. Garavano. “Fundamental human rights are violated if people do not have access to systems and remedies that protect them from violence and injustice.”

Hina Jilani of The Elders and an advocate to the Supreme Court of Pakistan said, “The justice deficit that keeps four billion people living outside the protection of the law is not new. Yet efforts to change this have been underfunded and grassroots justice defenders are increasingly under attack in many places. The movement for change is growing, as the impacts of lack of access to justice reverberate around the world. From the women’s movements to citizenship rights, from land rights to climate justice and well beyond, people are demanding change. The Elders, with civil society and grassroots justice defenders, are encouraging people to call on all governments to deliver the aspirational commitment to ensure equal access to justice by 2030, through our Walk Together campaign, and I am delighted to raise their voices as we work with esteemed members of the Task Force. It is encouraging that through the Task Force, we can add meaningful political commitment to the global movement demanding that the scales of justice are tipped toward equal access for all.”

Including the co-chairs, members of the Task Force include: 

  • Alejandro Alvarez, Director, Rule of Law Unit, Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General
  • Donny Ardyanto, Program Advisor of Legal Empowerment and Access to Justice, TIFA Foundation
  • Pablo de Greiff, Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights 
  • Sara Hossain, Lawyer Supreme Court of Bangladesh and Hon. Executive Director, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust
  • Kalthoum Kannou, Judge at the Court of Cassation, Tunisia
  • Vivek Maru, Chief Executive Officer, Namati
  • Allyson Maynard-Gibson, Barrister, Former Attorney General and Minister for Legal Affairs of The Bahamas
  • Athaliah Molokomme, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Botswana to the UN Office in Geneva
  • Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children
  • Owen Pell, Partner, White & Case
  • Jim Goldston, Executive Director, Open Society Justice Initiative.

Over the next year, the Task Force will work to analyze the justice gap, make the case for investment and suggest ways to turn strategy into action. The Task Force will publish its findings in a flagship report in early 2019.



About Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies

The Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies is convened by the governments of Brazil, Switzerland, and Sierra Leone, and supported by the Center on International Cooperation. The Pathfinders have developed the Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, which provides a shared vision for how SDG16+ can be delivered. For more information, please visit


About The Elders and the WalkTogether Campaign

The Elders are an independent group of global leaders working together for peace, just and human rights, brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007. #WalkTogether is a year-long campaign in the lead up to Nelson Mandela’s 100th anniversary to inspire hope in the world by celebrating courageous moral leadership for the freedoms for Peace, Health, Justice and Equality.


For more information contact:

Karina Gerlach

Center on International Cooperation | Pathfinders | +1 917 370 3676


Sharon Johnson | +44 7917 585 757


William French |+44 7795 693 903

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Feb 20, 2018