Microjustice4All (MJ4All) is a Dutch Foundation that works for the Legal Empowerment and Inclusion of marginalized people and victims of humanitarian disaster.

In 1996, Patricia van Nispen tot Sevenaer founded Microjustice4All (MJ4All), a Dutch Foundation that specializes in the Legal Empowerment of marginalized people and victims of disaster.

The organization began its work in the post-war legal rehabilitation of refugees in the Former Yugoslavia and helped them reclaim their pre-war rights. MJ4All focused on solving refugees’ legal problems in all aspects of life, by arranging their identity-related documents across borders (81,088 documents in Serbia and Croatia), restoring property, solving banking issues, and ensuring pensions -to name a few-. A small branch of the program is still running today, arranging around 1000 documents across borders for (ex)refugees annually.

The concept of Microjustice was tested and developed in Bolivia as of 2007. It takes the model of Microfinance as a basis to produce a sustainable model of legal services for the poor. The experience in Bolivia was used to establish Microjustice Country Organizations in Peru (2008), Argentina (2010) Kenya (2011), Rwanda (2012), while operations in the former Yugoslavia use the sustainable businessmodel of Microjustice for cross-border legal aid to (ex)refugees. The experiences with legal empowerment in these countries were fundamental in the creation of the MJ4All Legal Empowerment Method that is used in the Legal Inclusion Program.

Microjustice legal services are focused on the practicalities of everyday life. The aim is to ensure that basic legal needs are satisfied to help provide individuals with legal protection and access to rights and entitlements such as public services, benefits and amenities. In particular, MJ4All focuses on non-litigious private and administrative legal matters that are fundamental for legal inclusion such as civil documents, and documents relating to: property and housing, income-generating activities, family law, and inheritance.

The MJ4All Legal Empowerment Method consists of (a) the provision of standardized legal services to (b) marginalized target groups, (c) with a view to their social, economic and political inclusion in society in the country where they live, (d) while undertaking bottom-up institutional reform and capacity-building to increase access to justice, and building bridges between the people and their government/administration, (e) financed in a cost-efficient and sustainable way, which can be scaled-up.

MJ4All has successfully empowered hundreds of thousands of people in becoming legally-included citizens that now enjoy the rights provided by the system of their country. In order to upscale activities globally MJ4All developed the Legal Empowerment Methodology Handbook and the Handbook for Humanitarian Crises, each of which include comprehensive toolkits and were developed throughout the Organization’s 22 years of field work.  

As of 2018, MJ4All launched its Legal Inclusion Mapping Method. This method is a framework for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 16 (SDG 16). The mappings are  currently on their way  in Bolivia, Kenya and Serbia, and will soon include Jordan and Egypt!


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