REDRESS and Emerging Solutions Africa (ESA) have for the past one-year and a half been implementing activities for the Project entitled Strengthening Victim Participation in the Fight against Impunity for International Crimes in Uganda.
The Project is aimed at supporting Victims of International Crimes and Local Organizations assisting such Victims to participate meaningfully in advocating for the timely implementation of Transitional Justice Processes in Uganda. The Transitional Justice Processes include Community based truth seeking and telling processes, reparation programs, Criminal proceedings operating at the domestic and International levels, engaging with national, regional and International Policy makers about such processes, so that Victims’ needs are met.
Victims of war and their communities have been strengthened through Community outreaches and dialogues organized by Redress and Emerging Solutions Africa (ESA) in the communities most affected by war in the greater North of Uganda. These outreaches have brought together over 300 Victims, grass root Organizations and other stakeholders.
At the Community dialogues held in West Nile, Lango, Acholi and Teso sub regions, the Victims of war have had an opportunity to share their experiences, challenges and proposed solutions to their most pressing needs.
Key among the outputs of the community dialogues in the four sub regions has been the creation of the Uganda Victims and Survivors Network, an Umbrella Platform through which Victims and their Communities can participate in Transitional Justice Processes.
The Network brings together all the regional Victim-led Networks from West Nile, Lango, Acholi and Teso Sub regions.
Mid-level Policy dialogues have also been held in Lira (Lango sub region) and Soroti (Teso sub region) to enable Victim representatives from the grass root level to share their needs and experiences with Traditional leaders, Community leaders, district leaders, Non-Governmental Organizations and the Security representatives.
On September 18th 2019, there will be a National Ugandan Survivors Network Conference and High-Level Policy Dialogue under the theme, “From the Ground Up: Empowering victims to collectively advocate for timely implementation of transitional justice processes in Uganda.”
This dialogue will bring together victims, elected representatives of the Uganda Victims & Survivors Network. (NUS-NET); representatives of local community-based Organizations; representatives of civil society Organisations; government representatives including from the Ministry of Gender, Ministry of justice, the Attorney General, the Honorable Speaker of the House of Parliament and Members of Parliament, Judges from the International Crimes Division of the Ugandan High Court; diplomatic representatives; representatives from the Justice Law and Order Sector and the Uganda High Commission, among others.
The Cabinet of Uganda has recently approved the Transitional Justice Policy and it will be crucial for Victims and their leaders to participate in its implementation and to contribute towards the drafting of the Transitional Justice Bill and its eventual passing into law.