Peaceful, prosperous societies need people and institutions to be subject to law that is fairly applied. The U.S. Institute of Peace helps states and members of society work together to strengthen the rule of law, often through justice and security sector reforms. USIP develops innovative models to foster and shepherd sustainable and locally supported reforms, trains rule-of-law practitioners, conducts research and holds forums to share knowledge. The institute also supports programs such as Justice and Security Dialogues, which seek to build trust between civil society and officials from the justice and security sectors.

Featured Publications

Five Things to Know About Mali’s Coup

Five Things to Know About Mali’s Coup

Thursday, August 27, 2020

By: Emily Fornof; Emily Cole

On August 18, rising tensions to boiled over into a mutiny, leading to the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. This dramatic chain of events followed three months of protests, calling for Keita’s resignation. As the country grapples with an intractable insurgency and eight years of instability, anger over the government’s failure to resolve conflict, respect democratic norms, and provide basic services pushed citizens and the military to their boiling point. What comes next in Mali over the coming months could have significant implications for the country’s democracy and on the stability of the Sahel.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Justice, Security & Rule of Law; Democracy & Governance; Nonviolent Action

Illicit Drug Trafficking and Use in Libya: Highs and Lows

Illicit Drug Trafficking and Use in Libya: Highs and Lows

Thursday, May 28, 2020

By: Fiona Mangan

This report explores how illicit drug trafficking and drug use in Libya has shaped and been shaped by the country’s ongoing conflict. Drawing on hundreds of interviews and dedicated research, it examines Libya’s pre-2011 illicit economy, delves into the social impact of drugs, and focuses on drug use on the frontlines of Libya’s ongoing conflict, the corrosive impact of drug trafficking and use on the justice and security sector, and how trafficking and organized crime undercut peacebuilding and state consolidation.

Type: Peaceworks

Justice, Security & Rule of Law

How to Put Human Security at the Center of the Response to Coronavirus

How to Put Human Security at the Center of the Response to Coronavirus

Thursday, April 16, 2020

By: Calin Trenkov-Wermuth, Ph.D.

The coronavirus pandemic will have long-lasting repercussions for governance, justice, and security—among many other things. Many governments are working to contain the outbreak by adopting emergency measures and powers. Security sector actors—police, armed forces, border control authorities, penitentiaries, community security groups, and militias—are now playing a key role in limiting the virus’ spread.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Health; Justice, Security & Rule of Law

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Current Projects

Informing Criminal Justice Reform in Libya

Informing Criminal Justice Reform in Libya

The Informing Criminal Justice Reform in Libya project was launched in July 2020 to fill existing knowledge gaps on correctional facilities in Libya and the criminal justice system in the Fezzan region. In partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), this project aims to strengthen the rule of law in Libya by providing the international community and Libyan officials with a more complete picture of the region’s institutions, as well as actionable recommendations to inform the development and implementation of future policy and programming.

Democracy & Governance; Justice, Security & Rule of Law

Preventing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence

Preventing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence

Conflict-related sexual violence is increasingly recognized as not only a weapon of war, but a threat to international peace and security. In 2012, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), the Human Rights Center at the University of California-Berkeley School of Law, and Women in International Security (WIIS), launched the Missing Peace Initiative to examine the issue of sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict settings...

Gender; Justice, Security & Rule of Law; Human Rights

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