Contributing to Sustainable Development Goals through Access to Justice.
The objective of the assignment
To provide technical support to the project team to develop a National Victims Transitional Justice Manifesto
Advanced degree in Law, Social Sciences, Human Rights, Transitional Justice
Understanding of the political and post-conflict context in Uganda
Proven understanding of the National Transitional Justice policy and other legal frameworks on conflict, peace, and security in Uganda and East Africa
Fluency in English
Ability to write clearly and concisely
Excellent interpersonal skills;
Excellent planning and prioritization skills;
An equivalent of 21 working days spread through June and July
Contract and deadline
Please submit applications by 04 June 2021 before 5:30 pm.
A cover letter expressing interest in carrying out the consultancy
A CV demonstrating relevant skills and experience and names of at least 2 references, preferably from organizations with which the consultant (s) has conducted similar types of work.
Sample of similar work done in the past (optional)
Declare flexibility and availability in agreement with ASF and partners for the project implementation period from the Month of June to July 2021.
An indicative budget for professional fees(inclusive of all taxes) for a period of 21 days
The documents should be submitted to
Doreen Musasizi at [email protected] under subject line Consultancy TJ manifesto.
General Overview of Avocats Sans Frontiers’ (ASF)
Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF) is an international NGO specializing in the defense of human rights and support for justice. ASF has field offices in Burundi, Chad, the Central African Republic, Indonesia, Morocco, the Central African Republic, DRC, Tunisia, and Uganda. ASF brings over 25 years of experience in delivering legal aid worldwide. On issues of detention, ASF has consolidated an institutional strategy that combines a legal approach offering people in custody access to justice and a review of the legality of their detention, with a contextual analysis of the social, economic, and political approaches to detention that lead to excessive deprivation of liberty.
Overview of the Consultancy
ASF in Uganda is currently implementing a project “Contributing to Sustainable Development Goals through Access to Justice’ 2017-2021, with support from the Belgium Development Cooperation (DGD). The main objective of the project is to “improve the functioning of justice mechanisms for populations affected by conflicts and natural resources management through the promotion of their rights particularly public participation”. The project has 3 result areas namely;
R1- Fostered participation of victims of conflict in Justice mechanisms abiding by international standards
R2- Stronger justice mechanisms for communities affected by the exploitation of natural resources
R3- Fostered public participation for populations affected by natural resources management.
Under Result Area 1 , ASF implements the Transitional Justice project with the principal objective 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”
Background and Rationale for the Consultancy
In Uganda; the conflict and security situation has a strong bearing on development prospects and vice versa. Since independence in 1962, Uganda has experienced a history of conflicts and uprisings where violence has been used to acquire and often to retain political power. This history of the conflict is in part linked to a British colonial legacy of deep-rooted divisions between the North and South of the country. The colonial policy that promoted education and wealth among southern tribe whilst recruiting northern tribes in the army, as well as using Baganda chiefs as their administrators, outside Buganda, commonly referred to as indirect colonial rule; contributed to fostering ethnic and religious tensions, as well as regional economic and development disparities, among others. The first native independent Government in Uganda inherited more than just the boundaries of the State of “Uganda” from the British Protectorate. It adopted a political landscape characterized by divided people, tribal rivalries and inequalities, resentments, simmering conflicts, and struggles for political power, wealth as status. The country’s political and economic fabric was vulnerable to conflicts, subjugation, and economic repression and as such needed urgent redress. However, post-independence Uganda has been afflicted by political struggles and violence in which the military has commandeered political power and positioned itself as the final arbiter of political conflicts. To this end, since independence, Uganda has had eight (8) transfers of power through violence and unconstitutional means and conducted eight (8) elections of which only two (2) have not to be contested.
January 1986, following a five-year popular guerilla war waged by the National Resistance Army (NRA) the current president Yoweri Museveni to power, took power, defeating the military regime of Tito Okello Lutwa. Museveni’s government has overseen a period of relative stability in some parts of the country and managed to defeat rebel leaders in the Northern region, Rwenzori region, and the Bunyoro region.
In the case of northern Uganda, the assumption of power by Museveni in 1986 coincided with the emergence of several warring groups, most of who had been defeated by Museveni’s NRA, the most notorious being the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) Until 2002, most of these warring factions wagged attacks in the Gulu, Kitgum and Pader districts of the Acholi sub-region. The attacks later spread to the Lango and Teso sub-regions. Throughout the 1980s, the conflict remained largely military in nature. However, in the early 1990s, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels began to focus on the local population, instilling terror among local communities by way of ambush, looting, and killing as well as abducting civilians. The rebel movement was also known for abducting young people on a large scale to boost their forces The UNICEF (2006) report indicates that more than one in three young men and one in six young women were at least once been abducted.
Unlike the northern region, the other regions of the country have grappled with inter-tribal and ethnic conflicts. Notable among these is the Rwenzururu rebellion (1962-1982), insurgencies, in particular, the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (NALU) in the 1980s, and the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) from the 1990s in the reigned terror in Rwenzori region. Other notable incidents include the July 2014 attacks on security installations by over 1000 youth in Ntoroko, Bundibugyo, and Kasese districts. The region is yet to recover from the 2016 military intervention which occurred at Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu (OBR) King that among others, resulted in the death of over 100 civilians and the arrest of both the King and over 200 of his royal guards.
As a result, survivors and post-conflict-affected communities still struggle with challenges including poverty due to limited livelihood sources, disintegrated socio-economic fabric, dissatisfaction with the justice system, land disputes, absence of accountability, reconciliation, integration of victims into their communities, internal displacement, statelessness, dissatisfaction with the formal justice system, and long-term physical and psychological health effects; in addition to the individual suffering and long-term effects of the harms on families and communities.
The June 2019 National Transitional Justice Policy reflects the Government of Uganda’s commitment to addressing the legacy of these conflicts, as well as the justice and reconciliation needs of the affected communities, in post-conflict situations, with the aim of promoting national reconciliation, peace, and justice. The policy also notes that transitional justice is a national issue that is critical not only for sustaining peace but to sustainable development as a whole, therefore requiring the action of a wide range of actors aside from the JLOS institutions.
The National Transitional Justice policy provides a framework through which the Government of Uganda, Civil Society, and other stakeholders should address the peace, accountability, and justice needs of post-conflict Uganda. The policy clearly adopts a victim-centered approach and recognizes the need for inclusion and participation of victims in its implementation.
Through different Ministries, Departments, Agencies, and Civil Society Organizations, Government is optimistic the policy will be ably implemented to address the 5 priority areas identified.
However, too often, the voices of victims in post-conflict communities have been obscured in the transitional justice processes hence making it frustrating and dispiriting to them.
Therefore, there is a need for a common and consolidated voice from the victims to ensure their full participation in the TJ processes especially in the implementation of the policy.
In 2019 the Government of Uganda passed the National Transitional Justice Policy (NTJP). The passing of the Policy was partly fulfilling the Government’s commitments on accountability and reconciliation that it made during the Juba Peace process, which started in 2006, as well as its constitutional obligations. The NTJP provides for Interventions under five processes. These are;
Formal Justice - whereby Government intends to ensure that legislation is in place for witness protection, participation of victims in the trials, and access to justice for the vulnerable.
Traditional Justice – which would involve Government recognition of traditional justice mechanisms as a tool for conflict resolution.
Nation-building and Reconciliation – Whereby Government would resource and establish nation-building and reconciliation processes.
Reparations – Whereby Government intends to establish a reparations program for those victims affected by conflict.
Amnesty – Under this, Government will remove the blanket amnesty and ensure that it is conditional upon participation in truth-seeking and traditional justice processes.
The adoption and/or passing of the NTJP raises hope in Uganda; especially for the victims who, for the past two decades, have been left with uncertainty on whether, when, and how past violations committed against them would be dealt with. The text also provides an overview of how the relevant stakeholders can contribute to its implementation.
Within the spirit of fast-tracking the implementation of the NTJP, TJ proponents like the Rwenzori Forum for Peace and Justice (RFPJ), ASF, International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), Foundation for Justice and Development Initiative (FJDI), Refugee Law Project, and the OHCHR intend to develop a national Transitional Justice victims Manifesto
Objectives of the consultancy
The victim's manifesto is a call to action in the implementation of the National Transitional Justice Policy for the Government and other stakeholders. The principal objective of the consultancy is to provide technical support to the project team to develop a National Victims Transitional Justice Manifesto as described below;
Tasks to be performed
The expert/ team of experts must:
Develop data collection tools in collaboration with the project team for the intended interviewee group/s;
Take part in selected regional consultative meetings with the victims;
Research and collect relevant secondary data materials for compilation;
Organize and take part in the manifesto periodic review meetings;
Share the drafts of the manifesto with the team for comments and input for further enrichment and improvement;
Review and address the comments from the partners on the manifesto to finalize them accordingly;
Questionnaires developed and shared with project team within the agreed time period;
Drafts of the manifesto developed including PowerPoint presentations and shared with the project team;
Take part in selected periodic review meetings
Final manifesto draft produced within the agreed time with the project team weeks.