Global Rights opened its office in Uganda in spring 2010 and has partnered with three civil society organizations in one of Uganda’s most remote districts, Bundibugyo, where there are no lawyers and limited access to the justice system. In January 2011, we completed our Paralegal Training Manual, “Promoting Access to Justice and Human Rights,” which includes basic legal information about the priority legal concerns of the community—including violence against women, sexual abuse and neglect of children, and disputes related to land ownership, in particular women’s access to property ownership.
In 2012, Global Rights hosted a regional workshop for community-based paralegals in collaboration with Namati and Open Society Foundation. The workshop – opened by Uganda’s Chief Justice – convened nearly 50 paralegal programs, including our partners from Bundibugyo, and 20 sub-Saharan African countries. It explored the critical role paralegals play in expanding access to justice and mitigating conflict. Our partners found the conference especially useful for the discussions on standards, management of cases, supervision of paralegals, involvement of agencies, such as the police and prisons, time management, fact finding, forming paralegal networks and sustainability challenges of programs.
At the conclusion of the workshop, more than fifty organizations from twenty African countries signed a Kampala Declaration on Community Paralegals urging governments to strengthen access to justice and accountability across the continent by embracing the potential of community paralegals. It reflects a focused effort to seek wider government recognition of the role of paralegals in resolving conflict, supporting access to state services, and fighting corruption.
Global Rights has also recently launched an ambitious one-year pilot project called “Promoting Ethnic Diversity in Uganda.” The goal is to begin to understand and articulate the complex issues that surround ethnic discrimination in Uganda and to help to build greater local capacity to combat it. In the spring, we held a lively training that focused on the use of national, regional and international bodies and instruments that set policies promulgate regulations and implement laws on ethnic equality, as well as on building skills in monitoring, documenting and reporting related human rights violations. A second training is to follow in September to develop an advocacy campaign based on recommendations of an assessment report done at the beginning of the project.
Conference Report: African Regional Workshop for Community-Based Paralegal Programs (2012) English
Ethnicity and Human Rights in Uganada: A Desk Study of Human Rights Issues Faced by Ethnic Minorities and Indigenous Groups (2012) English
Ethnicity and Human Rights Training Workshop: Report on Emerging Issues and Recommendations (2012) English
Legal Empowerment in Under-Resourced Regions: Lessons Learned from Global Rights' Community-Based Paralegal Services in Nigeria and Uganda English
NEWS & EVENTS
On the Blog: First Time on the Fringes »
On the Blog: Equality for Ethnic Minorities »
On the Blog: Breaking the Silence: Ethnic Equality in Uganda »
Global Rights' African Regional Workshop for Community-based Paralegal Programs featured in article CSOs Want Govt to Support Paralegals »
On the Blog: Paralegal Profile: Eye Opener to Justice »
Photo of the Week: Bundibugyo, Uganda »
On the Blog: Rights Restored: Lives Improved »
Global Rights' Uganda Country Director Donald Rukare writes an insightful article on tribalism in his country »
Photo of the Week: Bundibugyo, Uganda
Photo of the Week: Bundibugyo, Uganda »
News Release: Global Rights Condemns Efforts to Force the "Anti-Homosexuality Bill" through the Ugandan Parliament Before the Session Ends Tomorrow »
(May 5, 2011)
View Uganda Photos and More! »
IMPACT IN THE FIELD
Learn about the work that Global Rights’ partners are doing on the ground with the help of our training and technical assistance »