LEEG-net (Legal & Economic Empowerment Global Network)

LEEG-net (Legal & Economic Empowerment Global Network)

  • Overview

    Vision / description

    LEEG-net attempts to answer the calls for action by –

    1. the United Nations High Level Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor (2005 -2008) of which the outcome document entitled “Making the Law Work for Everyone” has set out the roles to be played by the civil society, business community, professionals associations, etc in making the proposed Legal Empowerment Agenda a success;

    2. the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment whose report issued in 2016 entitled “Leave No One Behind. A Call to Action for Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment” recognizes the critical importance of partnerships with all parts of society in achieving scalable and sustainable impact towards implementing Sustainable Development Goals; and

    3. the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 25 September 2015 which notes in its preamble “… to mobilize the means required to implement this Agenda through a revitalized Global Partnership for Sustainable Development … with the participation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people”.

    LEEG-net plays a catalytic role in developing and disseminating innovative tools of legal & economic empowerment of the poor, marginalized and the excluded people including women as an effective means of promoting pro-poor growth and eradicating poverty towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    Project objectives

    LEEG-net campaigns for the codification of legal empowerment of the poor by way of an International Convention of the United Nations. Such a Convention could ideally incorporate a legal empowerment perspective in promoting, protecting and assuring the full gamut of human rights of the poor, marginalized, and the excluded people including women.

    Rationale for an International Convention on Legal Empowerment of the Poor in giving effect to SDGs:
    Legal empowerment is the process through which the poor become protected and are enabled to use the law to advance their rights and their interests, vis-à-vis the state and in the market. It involves the poor realizing their full rights, and reaping the opportunities that flow from that, through public support and their own efforts as well as the efforts of their supporters and wider networks. Legal empowerment is a country and context-based approach that takes place at both the national and local levels (Report of the UN High Level Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, Vol-i “Making the Law Work for Everyone”, 2008, p. 26).

    The unifying thread that runs throughout the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and their 169 targets is the commitment to ending poverty. As noted in the 2030 Agenda’s preamble “Eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development”.

    Despite the existence of various covenants, conventions, and instruments of human rights, people who are poor, marginalized or excluded continue to face barriers in their participation as equal members of society and violations of their human rights in all parts of the world. An International Convention on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, if brought into force, could ideally incorporate a legal empowerment perspective in promoting the full gamut of human rights that would encourage the international community and national governments to implement empowerment tools that guarantee fundamental freedoms for the poor, accelerate pro-poor growth and eradication of poverty towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially Goal Nos. 1, 5, 8, 10 and 16.

    N. B. If a request comes from the UN, the LEEG-net team (comprising lawyers, economists, and business consultants) would be willing to prepare a draft International Convention (or other Treaty) on Legal Empowerment of the Poor & Marginalized Groups including Women, aimed at facilitating and expediting the realization of Sustainable Development Goals.

    We advocate integrating the "legal empowerment agenda” formulated by the United Nations Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor (UN CLEP) (2005 – 2008) in the work of multilateral agencies and public policy formulation in developing countries with the objective of implementing the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

    LEEG-net provides pro bono consulting services to government institutions of developing countries to undertake law review, revision and reform aimed at making effective legal frameworks incorporating human rights-based approaches to development including legal empowerment of the poor with a particular focus on women, marginalized groups or people.

    LEEG-net’s main focus is on legal and economic empowerment of the poor and marginalized groups including women. Accordingly we generally addresses certain targets of all seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted for “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. Subject to this general approach, we prioritize our work towards achieving the following SDGs:

    Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

    Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

    Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

    Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries

    Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies

    Goal 17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development


    LEEG-net was launched with a focus on legal empowerment of the poor and marginalized communities in Asia-Pacific countries. It has the potential to scale up to a global initiative.

    Current progress

    LEEG-net was launched in January, 2017 based on the first-hand experience of the lawyers and development professionals affiliated with LexEcon Consulting Group. Project achievements are to be assessed by June, 2017.

    Project URL


    Sustainable Development Goals

    1. No poverty; 5. Gender equality; 8. Decent work and economic growth; 10. Reduced inequalities; 16. Peace, justice and strong institutions; 17. Partnerships for the goals

    Partnership types of interest

    Advocacy of global issues; Provision of services / personnel; Standards and guidelines development

    Regions / countries / territories

    Asia: Sri Lanka

    Detailed location

    30/63G, Longden Place, Colombo 00700.

    Issue areas

    Children's Rights; Forced Labour; Gender Equality; Human Rights; Migrant Workers; Poverty; Principle 1; Principle 10; Principle 2; Principle 3; Principle 4; Principle 6; Rule of Law; Women's Empowerment

    Business sectors

    Industrial Goods & Services


    Existing partners

    International Network for SMEs (www.insme.org) based in Rome, Italy

    Stakeholders consulted

    Academia; Civil Society groups; Community leaders; Government; Indigenous groups; Minority groups; Women; Youth

    Preferred partner organisation(s)

    Academic; Business Association Global; Foundation; NGO Global; Public Sector Organization; Social Enterprise; UN Entity

    Type of support needed

    Funding; Project implementation

    Collective Action
    • This initiative has a potential for scalability.
    • This initiative is seeking additional partners.
    • This initiative respects all dimensions of sustainable development.
    • This initiative is not submitted with commercial intent.