(ROME – March 18, 2020) In response to the global coronavirus pandemic, IDLO has implemented a range of measures to safeguard the security and well-being of its staff while continuing to carry out its mission to promote access to justice and the rule of law around the world.
Outlinling the plan to manage the risks presented by COVID-19 while ensuring critical support to the Organization’s 21 offices around the world, Director-General Jan Beagle stated: “We have activated a dedicated Crisis Management Team which is working around the clock to follow developments, track the latest guidance from national and local authorities, WHO and other international organizations, and put in place measures to respond to the rapidly evolving situation.”
Based in Rome, IDLO is coordinating its response closely with UN Agencies in Rome and the Italian government through regular information exchanges and participation in the meetings of the UN Security Management Team for Italy, chaired by FAO and supported by the Italian government.
IDLO has taken a number of precautionary steps, including instituting teleworking for most colleagues at Headquarters and other affected offices and by adopting technologies and modes of working to minimize in person contact during this critical period. These measures continue to be adjusted and updated on an ongoing basis in response to new developments.
At the same time, colleagues in Rome and around the world continue to deliver on IDLO’s mandate in some of the most complex and challenging environments, challenges which have only increased in the past few weeks with the spread of the pandemic.
For example, as part of its work with Afghanistan’s legal aid network, the IDLO-supported online database today reached 23,161 cases from 31 provinces since its establishment in 2018, marking a milestone in the country’s ability to monitor cases affecting the indigent and most vulnerable through a uniform procedure.
And in Somalia, IDLO continued its work to counter violent extremism by holding three town halls over the past week and developing public awareness campaigns, with the aim of supporting the reintegration of low-risk disengaged combatants and promoting community forgiveness.
Ms. Beagle stated: “IDLO’s work on rule of law and good governance - building resilient institutions, ensuring legal protections for the most vulnerable members of society and securing access to essential services like healthcare - has added significance in times of crisis.
I am confident that working together with compassion, communication and solidarity we will rise to the challenge presented by this global pandemic.”