Promoting Sustainable Development Goals by Strengthening Access to Justice in Uganda 2017-2021
Advocates for Natural Resources & Development (ANARDE) in partnership with Avocats Sans Frontieres (ASF) is implementing a Business and Human Rights Program/project with support from The Belgian Development Cooperation (DGD) entitled “Promoting Sustainable Development Goals by Strengthening Access to Justice in Uganda 2017-2021”. The project implementation is on course in the seven districts of Karamoja sub-region (Moroto, Nakapirpirirt, Amudat, Napak, Kotido, Kaabong and Abim) and Buliisa district in the Albertine Graben of Uganda.
The overall objective of the project is to promote an inclusive/ participatory development through legal empowerment of communities. The project aims at ensuring that communities are involved in decision-making processes and procedure before the implementation of project activities that affect them. It is aimed at tackling the power imbalances between the Government, the oil companies and the communities living in and around oil-rich areas that render the members of the local community powerless. The major objective of the project is to Improve and promote public participation in access to justice mechanisms that are strengthened and more transparent, thereby contributing to the protection of people’s rights and conflict management.
The program aims to contribute to strengthening the power of vulnerable groups to act by improving their effective access to justice. This objective is being pursued through action at two levels: strengthening inclusive access to justice mechanisms, enabling the public to participate in processes for establishing the truth, accountability, and guarantees of non-recurrence; and promoting the concepts of voluntary, prior and informed consent and strengthening community access to information about extractive activities.
The programme envisages a combination of interventions aimed at achieving both a short- and medium-term impact (improved access to justice and protection of human rights for affected communities by putting in place mechanisms for legal empowerment, raising awareness and consultations, but also through the provision of direct legal services) and a long-term impact (training of legal stakeholders, contributing to legal and institutional reform aimed at preventing human rights violations, mobilisation of stakeholders against human rights violations).
ANARDE’s intervention seeks to promote among marginalized groups an understanding of good natural resource governance and knowledge of how to use natural resources sustainably. It will provide legal assistance to the most vulnerable, organize training sessions on human rights within the context of oil drilling and mining, and represent members of the affected communities in court.
In this context, the project develops the assumption that contributing to strengthening the power of vulnerable groups to act by strengthening their effective access to justice requires action on two levels:
- Strengthening inclusive access to justice mechanisms, enabling the public to participate in processes for establishing the truth, accountability, and guarantees of non-recurrence.
- Promoting the concepts of voluntary, prior and informed consent and strengthening community access to information.