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Legal and Economic Empowerment Global Network (LEEG-net)
Description/achievement of initiative

LEEG-net (Legal & Economic Empowerment Global Network - https://www.leeg-net.org/) is a multidisciplinary network of professionals and academics who play a catalytic role in advancing the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Guided by a human rights based approach, our mission is to foster legal innovation and empowerment of the poor and disadvantaged groups in meeting the “greatest global challenge of eradicating poverty” which is the unifying thread throughout the 17 Goals, their 169 targets and 232 indicators. ​ The focus on legal innovation is an ongoing quest for new strategies and ways of thinking about what the law can do in the development realm. The focus on empowerment is an attempt to make the law work for the poor and disadvantaged groups by enhancing their capacity to resist poverty and get over it. LEEG-net links the two themes by virtue of their shared importance in finding solutions to sustainable development challenges.​ LEEG-net generally addresses all of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a particular focus on advancing the achievement of Goals 1, 5, 8, 10, 16 and 17.

Implementation methodologies

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure

LEEG-net initiative is governed by Dilum Abeysekera (MBA, Attorney-at-Law), founder and CEO of LexEcon Consulting Group (www.lexecongroup.com), in association with his team lawyers, economists, and business consultants who possess necessary experience and expertise at national and international levels.


LexEcon Consulting Group (www.lexecongroup.com), Global Trade Guardian (www.globaltradeguardian.net), European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC) - https://www.eiuc.org/
Progress reports
Goal 1
1.1 - By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day
1.2 - By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions
1.4 - By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance
1.5 - By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters
1.b - Create sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions
Goal 5
5.a - Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws
5.b - Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women
5.c - Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels
Goal 8
8.3 - Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services
8.8 - Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment
8.a - Increase Aid for Trade support for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, including through the Enhanced Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least Developed Countries
Goal 10
10.2 - By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status
10.3 - Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard
10.6 - Ensure enhanced representation and voice for developing countries in decision-making in global international economic and financial institutions in order to deliver more effective, credible, accountable and legitimate institutions
10.c - By 2030, reduce to less than 3 per cent the transaction costs of migrant remittances and eliminate remittance corridors with costs higher than 5 per cent
Goal 16
16.3 - Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
16.9 - By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration
16.10 - Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements
16.b - Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development
Goal 17
17.9 - Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the sustainable development goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation
17.14 - Enhance policy coherence for sustainable development
17.16 - Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries, in particular developing countries
17.17 - Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships

Data, monitoring and accountability
Submission of a Draft Convention to the UN Secretariat & UNDESA on the (Legal) Empowerment of the Poor, Marginalized and the Excluded Persons including Women. This Draft Convention will be submitted if the proposal for such a Convention referred to in the third deliverable is accepted by the UN Secretariat and/or UNDESA. The rationale for an International Convention on Legal Empowerment of the Poor in giving effect to SDGs: The unifying thread that runs throughout the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and their 169 targets is a 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.
Submission of a proposal to UN Secretariat / UNDESA on the relevance of mainstreaming the mechanisms of legal empowerment of the poor, marginalized and the excluded people in the national action plans of SDG implementation. This proposal will be prepared based on the Legal Empowerment Agenda formulated by UN High Level Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor (UN HLCLEP 2005-2008). It will address Goals 1, 5, 8, 10, and 16.
Publication of a Manual/ Toolkit on Developing SDGs-Compliant National Legal Frameworks
Submission of a proposal to United Nations Secretariat and UNDESA on the urgent need to recognize and codify the right to legal empowerment of the poor, marginalized and the excluded people by way of an international convention or treaty. 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 (Report of the UN High Level Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, Vol-i
Provision of pro bono consulting services to government institutions of developing countries to undertake law review, revision and reforms aimed at making SDG-compliant effective legal frameworks
Financing (in USD)
5,500,000 USD
Other, please specify
Financing of LEEG-net initiative through donor funding
Staff / Technical expertise
The administrative staff and the team of consultants of LexEcon Consulting Group provide necessary human resource and technical expertise respectively. The Global Network of Consultants affiliated with LexEcon Consulting Group will also provide technical

Basic information
Time-frame: 01/2017 - 12/2030
LexEcon Consulting Group (www.lexecongroup.com), Global Trade Guardian (www.globaltradeguardian.net), European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC) - https://www.eiuc.org/
Contact information
Dilum Abeysekera, CEO, dilum@lexecongroup.com
United Nations