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Real Lives, Real Change: Rule of Law Program

Read the stories below to learn how Center's Rule of Law Program work impacts the lives of women, children, and men around the world.

Waging Peace Around the World

Building a peaceful world involves more than ending war. A peaceful world is one in which justice thrives, everyone’s rights are respected, and people have access to essentials. The Carter Center has dozens of programs and projects dedicated to making the dream of peace a reality. This slide show explores a handful of them. Learn More

Transforming Lives with Information: Video Close-ups on Guatemala

Information has the power to transform lives. But only if you can access it. In 2014, the Carter Center’s Global Access to Information program conducted a study that found that women in Guatemala have a harder time than men accessing information to which they’re entitled. This includes information about things that could make enormous differences in their lives – information about government benefit programs, about laws that protect them, about business and educational opportunities. Learn More

Theodosia Borbor: A Passion for Justice

Theodosia Borbor may not be a lawyer, but she knows Liberian law. And she’s passionate about making sure others do, too. Borbor is a community justice advisor with the Carter Center-supported Catholic Justice and Peace Commission. She provides free mediation services and organizes community awareness sessions for the people of Margibi County, which sits about an hour from Liberia’s capital, Monrovia. Learn More

Meet a Woman Who Knows her ‘Potential’

The 40-year-old mother of four is the first female driver for the Carter Center’s Access to Justice Project in Liberia – and one of the country’s few female professional drivers, period. Learn More

Turning Information into Income

Sometimes, something as simple as a radio message can change lives. Olivia Stewart, a resident of New Georgia Estate, a mostly low-income community on the outskirts of Liberia’s capital city of Monrovia, was washing up one afternoon in 2015 when she heard a public notice for government grants for projects empowering women and youth. Learn More

The Brickmaker’s Tale: How a $30 Debt Almost Cost a Man his Freedom

Walking home from his office in Kakata, Liberia, Victor Tuazama stumbled upon a confrontation between a police officer and a citizen. When it became clear that the citizen was about to be arrested because he owed a man the equivalent of about US$30, Tuazama, who works as a community justice advisor for the Carter Center-supported Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, intervened. Learn More

Request for Information Leads to ID Card, Pension

For nearly three years, 83-year-old Blanca Nieves Valdez didn’t exist. She was living in a cozy house in the small town of San José la Arada, Guatemala, doing all the things that real people do —eating, sleeping, chatting, chores — but as far as the government of Guatemala was concerned, she was a non-person. The official record book containing her information was destroyed, so when the government changed its ID system, it didn’t issue her a new ID card. Learn More

Eddoes and Empowerment: Women Work to Build Better Life

In Liberia’s Nimba County, many women are raising their children on their own. Fathers often contribute little or nothing to their care, even if the mothers take them to court. Judges may side with the women and order the men to pay child support, but too often the men make a payment or two and then slip off to some other part of the country, never to be heard from again. Learn More

VP Brings Field Experience from Liberia, Vietnam

Jordan Ryan, vice president for peace programs, may be relatively new to The Carter Center, but his connection to President and Mrs. Carter dates back to the ’70s. Learn More

In the Spotlight: Director Passionate About Information

Over a decade ago, Laura Neuman attended a gathering in one of India's poorest states to watch colleagues read public documents aloud to villagers. Learn More

Center Mobilizes for Liberia's Ebola Fight

As the Ebola epidemic escalated in Liberia last fall, the nation's ministries and international public health agencies asked The Carter Center to help mobilize communities to identify cases of the disease and prevent its spread. Learn More

Meet George Toddy: Liberian High School Student Uses Access to Information to Improve Curricula

When Liberian high school student George Toddy failed the math and science sections of his college entrance exam, he was disappointed but not surprised — he had heard that his region had a very high failure rate compared to other parts of the country. Learn More

Encouraging a More Open China

In early 2010, remote Baimiao Township in Sichuan Province, China, was dubbed the "naked government" when local officials posted its budget online, reportedly disclosing everything from salaries to the cost of notebooks and paper cups. Learn More

Carter Center Slideshow: Bringing Justice to Rural Liberians, One Village at a Time

For residents of Bor Town, Grand Bassa County, Liberia, a trip to the nearest magistrate's office to solve a dispute isn't just an expense that many in this subsistence-farming community cannot afford; it is also a major trip — eight hours walking by footpath, one way. Learn More

Empowering Liberian Women Through Access to Information

Like many Liberian women, Ruth Saye has faced violence, subjugation, and loss as a result of her country's devastating civil war, but she was determined to empower women and help them to heal. Learn More

Liberia Advances Toward Open Records

Philomena Bloh-Sayeh is surrounded by mounds of documents in boxes stacked on shelves. "These are marriage documents," she says. "You'll see gaps in the years where some of them were lost during the war." Learn More

Q&A With Pewee Flomoku: Son of Liberia

For Carter Center officer Pewee Flomoku, bringing justice to the citizens of Liberia is personal. Learn More

Ghanaian ATI Conference Participant Coordinating Campaign for Country's Right to Information Law

In Ghana, where the government is currently debating the passage of a right to information bill, Nana Oye Lithur coordinates the campaign to ensure the proposed law will conform to international standards and enhance transparency and accountability. Learn More

Ghana Conference to Address Africa's Right of Access to Information, Develop Action Plan

Listen to Laura Neuman, associate director for the Americas Program at The Carter Center and the access to information project manager, discuss the upcoming conference. Learn More

Liberian Woman Uses Legal Service to Stop Abuse

For 30 years, Henrietta Gayflor* endured ongoing physical abuse from her partner. After he assaulted her in her front yard one day, Gayflor decided to take action. Learn More

Next Steps in the Right of Access to Information in the Americas

Although about one half of all the countries in the Americas now have some form of access to information legislation, and almost all of the remaining countries are considering establishing a statutory right to information, there remain a number of critical challenges. In many countries, implementation and enforcement of the law has been weak. In other places there are signs of backsliding where once vibrant laws are now politicized or ineffectual; and in all cases there is a need to broaden and deepen the usage of the right to information. Learn More

Access to Information Q&A With Laura Neuman, Carter Center Americas Program

In this Q&A, the Carter Center's Laura Neuman, assistant director of the Americas Program and Access to Information Project manager, shares her insights. Learn More

Conference to Address Advancements, Challenges to Worldwide Access to Public Information Laws

Access to public information matters to the average citizen: it is a human right with the power to make a difference in both individual lives and in the life of a community. Although great advances have been made worldwide over the last decade, countries still face important challenges in the implementation and enforcement of access to information laws. Learn More

Carter Center Assists Liberia's Ministry of Justice in Strengthening Rule of Law

At the invitation of the Government of Liberia, the Carter Center's "Strengthening the Rule of Law and Combating Impunity" project, begun in October 2006, is filling critical gaps in the delivery of justice in rural Liberia. Learn More

Q&A With Liberia's Minister of Justice Philip A.Z. Banks

"Frankly, I would like to see Liberia at the apex of the continent, on top. I believe very strongly and very sincerely that in spite of what we've been through-the devastation and degradation and all of the other negatives that we can think of-we still have the propensity to rise highly and rigorously." Learn More

Q&A With Liberia's Solicitor General Tiawan S. Gongloe

Tiawan S. Gongloe, solicitor general of Liberia, knows his country's justice system from both sides of a jail cell. As a student activist in the late 1970's, he was imprisoned and beaten for speaking out against the government of then-president William Tolbert, and later for speaking out against President Charles Taylor. Learn More

Carter Center Partners with Traditional Leader of Liberian Women

Mama Tumeh, leader of the country-wide Traditional Women for Peace – a Carter Center partner — is regarded as the spiritual leader of women throughout Liberia. Her work is bringing a message of hope and empowerment to women who are survivors of the country's 14-year civil war. Learn More

Q&A With Oscar Dolo, Director of the Modia Drama Club

The Modia Drama Club, based in Gbarnga, Liberia, is a Carter Center partner in the rule of law public education and awareness campaign. Members travel to Liberia's most remote villages by foot, motorcycle, and four-wheel drive, to educate entire communities – often gathered in open-air settings – through skits, music, and interactive dialogue on Liberia's new laws. Learn More

Carter Center Helps Educate Liberians on Laws, Rights

Although the country's decades of violence are over, Liberia's women continue to face their own private wars: marital rape, domestic abuse, poverty. The Carter Center, at the invitation of Liberia's Ministry of Justice and in partnership with community-based organizations in the West African country, is helping close the violence gap through local education programs and governmental capacity building. Learn More

Dramatic Learning Acting Troupe Educates Liberians About Legal Rights

The purpose of the drama is to inform community members about the law and their rights. After enduring 14 years of civil war, most Liberians, especially in remote areas, have little knowledge of the formal justice system, new laws, and ways to seek justice. Learn More

Carter Center Slideshow: Elections Mark Turning Point in Liberia's History

The Carter Center observed Liberia’s historic presidential and legislative elections on Oct. 11, 2005. Only two years earlier, Liberia had emerged from 14 years of civil warfare, which had left over a million people displaced and the country’s infrastructure destroyed. More than 1.3 million people registered to vote, which was estimated to be 90 percent of the eligible population. Learn More

Stories from Liberia: Field Officer Reflects on Election Prep in a War-Torn Land

Liberians, their country devastated by years of civil war, head to the polls in October 2005 in the most promising opportunity the country will have to establish a fragile, post-conflict democracy. Liberia's destroyed infrastructure, pervasive poverty, 85 percent illiteracy rate, and bitter electoral history are compounding the challenges of providing civic education and making technical arrangements for the election process. Learn More