ASF in Uganda

  • Location: Kampala
  • Date of establishment: December 2007
  • Team: 1 expatriate and 4 national collaborators
  • Partners: Advocates for Natural Resources Governance and Development (ANARDE), International Crimes Division (ICD)
  • Funding: Belgian Development Cooperation

Background

Uganda has suffered from the 1970’s to the 1980’s of brutal dictatorships, military coups and a bloody civil war. Since 2008, the security situation in the country has stabilized, following peace talks between the Ugandan authorities and the rebel group Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), active in Northern Uganda since 1988. But the LRA remains a destabilizing force on the regional level as it continues to carry out sporadic attacks in neighboring countries. Impunity for international crimes, including those committed by the LRA leaders, continues to be a major concern. The International Crimes Division was established in 2008 to dispense justice for international and transnational crimes committed in the context of Uganda.

Serious breaches of human rights continue to be commonplace in Uganda, and much work remains to be done to ensure that the rule of law is respected throughout the country by all. Much of the population still has limited access to the formal justice system, due largely to geographic isolation and poverty as well as lack of awareness.

The many challenges include international criminal justice, violation of civil liberties, prison congestion, illegal prolonged pre-trial detention, violation of economic, social and cultural rights and violation of national laws and international standards by judicial actors (police, attorneys and judges).

ASF projects in Uganda

Rural communities in Northen Uganda are being sensitized about transitional justice

ASF has over the years nurtured the legal and technical expertise. Bearing in mind the need for coordination and strengthening of local initiatives, ASF creates partnerships with national and international organisations sharing the same concern for support of the most vulnerable people in communities. ASF also actively participates in carrying out key research studies aimed at highlighting the major issues arising in its thematic areas.

In the past ASF implemented projects on:

  • Mobilising Lawyers to defend the rights of Ugandans.
  • Combating the problem of lengthy and unlawful pre trial detention.
  • Promoting the full implementation of the Rome Statute.
  • Assessing the impact of the exploitation of natural resources on Human Rights.
  • Supporting and protecting Lawyers and Human Rights Defenders (HRD) in the East Africa Community.
  • Promotion of national accountability processes for mass atrocities in Uganda.
  • Promoting meaningful participation of Women and Men in the Social Accountability and Development process of Uganda’s Oil and Gas sector.

Contributing to sustainable development goals by improving access to justice

Under its current project, ASF works to build up the power of vulnerable people to act by enabling them to access justice effectively. This project aims to achieve this objective through two types of activity:

  • Firstly, the project aims to strengthen access-to-justice mechanisms in order to make them inclusive and make possible public participation in procedures relating to the establishment of the truth, accountability, and guarantees of non-repetition.
  • Secondly, the project promotes the concepts of free, prior, and informed consent and improved community access to information on extractive activities. The project will include a combination of interventions intended to have a short- and medium-term impact by tangibly improving access to justice for target groups and a long-term impact by building the capacity of key actors and attempting to incorporate the lessons learned into the relevant political and legal frameworks.

Geographical areas of involvement: districts of Hoima and Buliisa, Karamoja Region, city of Kampala.

  • Partners: Advocates for Natural Resources Governance and Development (ANARDE), International Crimes Division (ICD).
  • Budget: Euros 1,669,964
  • Funding: Belgian Development Cooperation
  • Duration: 55 months (May 2017 > December 2021)

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