Religion & Liberty Online

‘Rule Of Law’ Sounds Boring, But It Is Essential To Human Flourishing

Rule of law is not something we hear much about, nor do we really want to. It’s kind of … dull. Tedious. Yawn-inducing.

Unless, of course, you live somewhere where there is no rule of law.

Every year, 5 million people are chased from their homes. Some lose their homes due to violence; others lose their homes simply because they cannot prove they own it. Someone bigger, stronger, more powerful, more wealthy comes in and takes it. And the victims have no redress.

Women and children are prone to violence where there is a lack of rule of law. There are forced marriages, sex and labor trafficking, and sexual assault. Again, the victims often have no voice, no way to seek justice.

International Justice Mission (IJM) calls this the Locust Effect. The lack of rule of law is like a plague of locusts: it strips away life, devours progress and tears apart people’s hard work and livelihood.

The video below illustrates the Locust Effect, and explains what can be done to strengthen rule of law in the developing world.

Elise Hilton

Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.