Provision of psychosocial counselling in detention is vital in enabling inmates cope up positively with mental health problems. In my interaction with mothers living with their children in prisons in western Uganda, they shared the ordeal under which children are raised. From their expression, the challenges being faced indicate a huge gap in children’s general wellbeing in detention. Child protection emphasises “reducing risks to children’s holistic well-being, making children’s rights a reality, and creating an enabling environment that supports children’s positive
Forced migration continues to be a global challenge with over 70.8 million people forcibly displaced, of which 29.4 million are refugees and asylum seekers. They have fled their homeland seeking asylum due to wars/conflicts, persecution, calamities and other social unrests. This has not spared any continent, and Africa alone is struggling with over 5.6 million. Uganda is quoted by the UNHCR June 2019 Uganda comprehensive refugee response portal to be hosting 1,293,582 refugees and asylum seekers with majority from South Sudan (833,785) Democratic republic of Congo (353,379) and Burundi (41,322) among others. How they are hosted and where depends on the laws, policies and practices of the host
Every 30th August is commemorated as the International Day of the Disappeared. In the wake of conflict or other situation of human rights violations the fate of many remains a mystery; thousands of individuals and families are unaware of the fate of their loved ones; are they still alive or have they died as a result of war or conflicts?
Uganda is not without its fair share of enforced disappearances of people from Independence to date. Indeed, nearly every part of Uganda has suffered conflicts which have led to thousands of missing persons.
Historically, there has been limited inclusion of women in leadership and decision making due to the patriarchal nature of society at large. However, women such as Mother Teresa and Marie Curie emerged in humanitarian and scientific spaces. It wasn’t until the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S when women where considered as potential leaders in the political arena like Rosa Parks-let alone the British matriarchy era. Today, a number of women all over the world have held important positions in office like Indira Ghandi, Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel, Jacinda Ardern, etc. By 2018, over 70 women had served as presidents or prime ministers all over the world.
What is it like now for Northern Uganda, a mass crime scene for over two decades during the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebellion? This is a region that was once considered a field of landmines, a “no-go zone”, a habitat for combatants where the bushes were all claimed by the rebels as their homes and lodges. No single civilian was allowed to hide, spend a night or take refuge there unless s/he was capable of paying for lodging there. Payment was by way of torture, rape, abduction, forceful conscription, or killing. The cry for protection, peace and healing were a daily rhetoric.
The women’s rights movement and activists have advocated for inclusion of women and girls in development projects for decades. Guided by the principle of “Nothing for us Without us”, women’s participation and empowerment continue to be a major agenda in development-related forums, particularly those related to promoting women’s rights and empowerment. The recently concluded commemoration of International Women’s Day reaffirmed the need to re-awaken women’s participation and empowerment, most importantly for rural and ‘grass roots’ women and girls.
Sexual Violence encompasses a wide range of human rights violations which include rape, defilement, domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, human trafficking, harmful traditional practices, female genital mutilation, forced and coerced sterilization, sexual slavery, forced abortions, forced pregnancies, sexual exploitation or coercion. All of these can and do result in many negative consequences for human health and well-being .
Every 18th May is celebrated globally as the International Museums Day (IMD), a day to reflect on and celebrate the role of museums in serving society as educational and remembrance platforms for matters of direct concern to society. IMD 2019 was held under the global theme: “Museums as Cultural Hubs: The future of tradition”.
According to the Statutes of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), adopted by the 22nd General Assembly in Vienna, Austria, on 24th August 2007, “a Museum is a ‘Non-Profit, Permanent Institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purpose of education, study and enjoyment.”
Uganda as a country has close to twenty-five (25) private community museums spread across the country. These provide spaces for people to interact, network and learn from the curated objects/materials.
How refugees as well as other suspects get stuck on remand in Uganda’s prisons
As in many similar jurisdictions, and in line with internationally ratified instruments,1 Chapter 4 of Uganda’s 1995 Constitution provides clear protections for the rights of pre-trial detainees. Firstly, it is the duty of the State to bring the suspect to justice without delay and to produce the suspect before a competent court within 48 hours.2 Secondly, Article 28 (3) (a) of Uganda’s 1995 Constitution provides for presumption of innocence until proven guilty by a competent court. Thirdly, Article 28 (1) provides an accused person the right to a fair and speedy trial. This is echoed in Article 126 (2) (b) which provides that justice shall not be delayed, though it is silent on what amounts to a ‘speedy trial’.
When I first started working at Refugee Law Project, an outreach project of the School of Law Makerere University, I perhaps naively assumed that these protections
In the spirit of promoting the ‘Truth’, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) nine years ago in 2010 proclaimed 24 March as the International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims. This date was chosen because it was the day on which Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero of El Salvador, was assassinated in 1980 for his active engagement in denouncing violations of the human rights of highly vulnerable individuals. The purpose of the Day is to: Honour the memory of victims of gross and systematic human rights violations and promote the importance of the right to truth and justice; Pay tribute to those who have devoted their lives to, and lost their lives in, the struggle to promote and protect human rights for all; Recognize, in particular, the important work and values of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, of El Salvador, for defending the principles of protecting lives, promoting human dignity and opposition to all forms of violence.
The UN Environment’s sixth Global Environment Outlook (2019) report published in time for the recent Fourth United Nations Environmental Assembly, calls on decision makers to take immediate action to address pressing environmental issues to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals as well as other Internationally Agreed Environment Goals, such as the Paris Agreement.
The first time I went to court in 2012 for Kinyarwanda interpretation, the challenges I faced marked a turning point for me in the implementation of glossary building. Glossary building is a term used to refer to the act of collecting difficult terms in their alphabetical order and find their explanations and meanings in other languages The legal officer with whom I went to court had explained to me that he would be on ‘watching brief’. That was also my first time to come across the legal term “counsel on watching brief.”
By Okot Benard Kasozi (Published 11th September 2018)
In the course of a recovery monitoring visit in Pader District, a gunshot survivor rehabilitated by Refugee Law Project with funding support from the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) remarked that “If any future violent war erupts again in northern Uganda, I pray that it comes when I am dead”
By Francis Nono (Published 22nd June 2018)
As northern Uganda marks 12 years of relative peace through the Juba Peace Initiatives, we should be singing about the contributions of key local peace icons and personalities who contributed to this remarkable attainment.
By Dieudonne Maganya (Published 8th June 2018)
On the 20th May 2018, I used the Atiak road as I headed to Lamwo district in northern Uganda to conduct interviews of candidates for a training that RLP was preparing. It was a Sunday like no other, mildly sunny with hints of the onset of a dry season ahead but still transitioning from a rainy one. As we turned off from the main Nimule road heading to Lamwo, about 30kms from the border between