Uganda Country Guide

The Uganda Country Guide was produced by the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) and the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC).

The Country Guide is a compilation of publicly available information from international institutions, local NGOs, governmental agencies, businesses, media and universities, among others. International and domestic sources are identified on the basis of their expertise and relevance to the Ugandan context, as well as their timeliness and impartiality.

The survey of publicly available, international sources was carried out by DIHR in 2015. The draft was updated and localized by UHRC with some interaction with local stakeholders, from January to March 2016.

The completed Country Guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview, on the basis of the information available, of the ways in which companies do or may impact human rights in Uganda. The current Country Guide is not meant as an end product, or a final determination of country conditions. It is intended to be the basis, and the beginning, of a process of dissemination, uptake and modification. DIHR and the UHRC seek further engagement with local stakeholders, and intend to update the Country Guide on that basis.

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Read the full Country Guide here

News Feed

Uganda: Govt. agency rejects sand harvesting bid by Mango Tree Group, says it would compromise livelihoods of communities near Lake Victoria

29 Aug 2017 — "Nema turns down Chinese investor’s sand mining bid" The National Environmental Authority (Nema) has rejected a proposal by a Chinese company to excavate sand along the shores of Lake Victoria at Kawuku in Nkumba Parish, Wakiso District. The company, Mango Tree Group Ltd, has since last year been in the spot over allegedly engaging in illegal sand mining activities in the area. The company directors, however, sought official clearance from Nema, to conduct commercial sand mining at three sites on the lake shores at Nkumba, next to Kimi Island in Mukono District and near Kavejanja –Buusi Island, Wakiso District. According to Nema Executive Director, Tom Okurut, the company’s activities have a negative impact on the eco-system on the lake shores, which would consequently affect the communities around Entebbe peninsular. In his June 1 letter to Mango Tree Group directors, Dr Okurut stressed that the sites proposed for dredging are either “refugia (an area where various organisms can hide during harsh conditions) and/or spawning grounds for fish...[T]he Nkumba and Buusi bay areas are targeted for cage fish farming so such a disturbance will impact fish stocks, the fishing industry, and consequently the livelihood of dependent communities,”

Uganda: Artisanal miners injured & lose property during violent eviction by govt. security agents to pave way for large investor

28 Aug 2017 — "Mubende miners count losses after ruthless eviction" Kawunde Patrick has been in the gold mining business for three years now...On the fateful morning of the Mubende mines eviction, he watched in horror as his livelihood was swept right from under his feet...On that fateful morning his boys were already in the pit working when he was ordered by angry soldiers to get them out and ensure no one stayed down. The miners had been given two hours – though most swear it was hardly an hour – to vacate the mines. Pandemonium reigned as over 50,000 people gathered whatever they could to flee...“Soldiers stopped me from taking anything. I lost three generators; three blowers that supply oxygen down the pit and four drilling machines...I watched as Sh16million of my capital was snatched out of my hands,” he said resignedly with tears welling up in his eyes. Mr Kawunde is just one of many artisanal miners that lost property and money during the eviction. “People left money in their houses as they fled,” said another miner who identified himself as just Alex. Alex was one of so many business people who fled off the gold value chain. He owned a lodge and bar. He had just spent Shs6million on iron sheets to construct more makeshift rooms. Like many others he left his iron sheets in the mines. “If I had not bought those sheets I would at least have something to start with. I left everything of mine in the mines. I have not changed clothes since we were evicted,” he said. In his State of the Nation address of 2015 President Museveni assured the miners in Mubende their plight would be addressed...This year, with the eviction looming, negotiations were ongoing as politicians shuffled between State House and Mubende...For now the miners are waiting and hoping that they will be allowed back to operate or at least seize opportunities if an investor starts operations.

Tanzania: Local communities to be impacted by large scale projects should be consulted prior to implementation

28 Aug 2017 — "How infrastructure projects impact the host communities" The construction of oil and gas infrastructure, dams, pipelines [and] processing plants has shown that the process is not without negative impacts to host communities...The situation is worse in poorly planned projects, which are often characterised by underestimation of social impacts... [In regard to the Uganda-Tanzania oil pipelinem, Mr. Raymond Njogoro, a resident of one of the host communities] expressed his concerns that adequate knowledge was required to educate the majority of host communities...[who] lacked knowledge about the project.

Uganda: Mining companies should ensure "conflict-sensitive" investment to avoid fuelling tensions, urges report

22 Aug 2017 — A report by Saferworld urges mining companies to think through their investment decisions to avoid creating or fuelling existing tensions in communities where mining is taking place.

Uganda: Call to avoid violent confrontation between security forces & local community over land allocated to Madhvani Group

15 Aug 2017 — "Breaking down the Amuru land conflict" A planned survey to secure 10,000 hectares of land for Madhvani Group to establish sugarcane plantation and sugar factory in the northern Amuru District aborted last week following nude protest by enraged women...[This article traces the history of the conflict between Madhvani Group and the local community]. The Madhvani Group initially showed interest in the land to establish a sugar factory, but local resistance forced the company to pull out. It sought the assistance of government to acquire the same. In the process, the government decided to bring the community on board. In 2008...[community representatives] sued Madhvani Group, Gen Julius Oketta and former district employee Ms Christine Atimango, and ex-Amuru Land Board Secretary Christine Atimango for wrongfully allocating communal land to private investors. High Court Judge William Musene...ordered the land be given to Madhvani Group. In 2015, the government signed an agreement with the Lamogi community of Kilak County, Amuru District, to withdraw the pending case at the Court of Appeal and pave the way for the establishment of the sugar factory by the Madhvani Group. President Museveni witnessed the signing of the agreement... A forcible survey exercise overseen by security forces and resistance by residents will likely explode in a confrontation, and result in bloodshed. Some of the dissenting leaders have proposed that the land owners form a Trust under which they will act as out growers and directly supply sugarcane to Madhvani Group, thereby earning constant income instead of mortgaging their land to the investor for a one-off compensation payment.


14 Aug 2017 — 两名乌干达员工日前向他们的前雇主中国交建提起诉讼,控告其歧视、解雇感染艾滋病病毒的员工...乌干达高等法院将在8月16日开庭审理此案。卡托和另外一名员工要求中国交建赔偿4亿乌干达先令(约合11万美元)。此前,控辩双方的庭外和解努力已经宣告失败。 中国交建股份公司是全球最大的基础设施建造商之一... 在法庭的案卷中,中国交建方面称,没有任何员工曾受到逼迫去进行体检,"若这两名原告确实进行过体检,其结果并不会用于决定他们的雇佣关系,而仅作他们自己的健康之用。"中国交建的律师团队以及乌干达全国道路交通局的发言人拒绝对此案进行置评,并强调此案尚在法庭审理过程中。中国交建乌干达行政主管郝运峰(音)则通过电子邮件回复路透社问询称,公司为员工提供免费、自愿的HIV体检...中国交建方面则称,解雇艾伦的原因是:后者因工作绩效不佳被警告后,就不再来上班了。 两名原告还指控为他们体检的医院侵犯隐私权,指责其没有将体检报告寄给本人、而是寄给了雇主... 此案凸显了乌干达政府工程承包商"肆意侵犯人权的行为"...2014年,乌干达议会还通过一部法案,蓄意传播艾滋病的行为将被追究刑事责任。

Uganda & Tanzania: Civil society groups call for fair compensation of families to be displaced to pave way for oil pipeline construction

10 Aug 2017 — "Civil society calls for fair compensation of oil pipeline victims" Civil society organizations have called upon the governments of Tanzania and Uganda to develop Resettlement Action Plans in a participatory and transparent manner...[following the] envisaged construction of the Hoima-Tanga crude oil pipeline...The chairman of Northern Coalition on Oil and Gas, Mr. Josiah Severre...insisted the compensation must be based on fair market value... Mr. Severre also urged the two governments and the companies which will be implementing the project to establish a mechanism to handle grievances from the community. "Grievances should be addressed timely. The affected communities should be involved fully. We want the process of addressing complaints to be clear, consistent and transparent", he said.

Uganda: Cultural institutions in natural resources-rich regions demand more inclusion in extractives sector management

4 Aug 2017 — "Cultural institutions agitate for fair share in extractives sector" On 21st June, the three prime ministers from Ker Kwaro Acholi, Alur Kingdom and Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom launched Guidelines to equip cultural leaders in their institutions in managing their relationship with the oil and gas companies as productively as possible. The guidelines reflect the three cultural institutions’ determination to play an active role in preserving tangible and intangible cultural heritage, in ensuring sustainable development and in fostering peace amongst communities... Executive Director Cross Cultural Foundation Uganda, Emily Drani....[says that"] And therefore they have always been treading very carefully. So when it’s a purely development agenda they are very outgoing and very forward. But when there’s a very thin line as to whether they’re now overstepping that line you find they’re not very assertive. So much as the laws of energy and use of natural resources have been taking place they have not asserted themselves to say yes, we are key actors in all this and we need to be consulted and we need government to recognize that the resources were talking about also have cultural significance and that’s where we come in, because in the past of course they were managing those resources for economic benefit and now they are told that is something beyond their mandate; they are supposed to focus on culture. But even then they can still make a case for land; they can still make a case for natural resources where there’s traditional medicine, there’re secret sites which fall directly under their mandate but they’re not very forthcoming. Government has taken advantage of that and actually not consulted them; but also for government to consult you need to demand and be acknowledged that this is a place where you can make a contribution. [Refers to Tullow Oil]

Les Commissions foncières d’Afrique veulent sécuriser les droits fonciers des communautés locales

2 Aug 2017 — "Les Commissions foncières d’Afrique s’engagent à sécuriser les droits fonciers communautaires", 25 juillet 2017 Pour la première fois se sont réunis à Accra au Ghana les commissaires africains en charge du foncier. Ils ont affirmé leur volonté de faire progresser les réformes politiques, juridiques et réglementaires dans leurs pays respectifs et à assurer leur mise en œuvre effective afin de reconnaître les droits fonciers communautaires et de sécuriser les terres communautaires. Les terres communautaires sont un enjeu important car elles représentent la majorité des terres du continent. Les systèmes fonciers coutumiers représentent en moyenne 70% de la masse des droits fonciers dans tous les pays. «Nous acceptons de poursuivre les efforts pour identifier, reconnaître et protéger les droits fonciers des communautés, y compris les groupes les plus vulnérables, qui sont les jeunes, les femmes, les nomades, les personnes handicapées et d'autres groupes ayant des liens solides avec leurs terres», indique une résolution des Commissaires aux droits fonciers...les commissaires soulignent que seule la reconnaissance des droits fonciers traditionnels par les commissions foncières nationales ne suffit pas et qu’il faut s’attacher à travailler à l'égalité des droits, à l'expropriation, aux moyens accessibles d'obtenir un crédit et des certificats fonciers juridiquement contraignants. En outre, une attention particulière sera portée sur les femmes, les jeunes et les personnes vulnérables, en établissant des quotas pour ces groupes. Autre point souligné, la nécessité de relocaliser les autorités de gestion des terres dans des zones plus proches des communautés et à renforcer leurs capacités...les commissaires ont convenu d'adopter et de renforcer des méthodes alternatives pour la résolution des conflits, dans des contextes où il est difficile pour les communautés d'accéder aux systèmes de justice de l'État, en particulier à la lumière de la distance entre les tribunaux et les zones rurales, les coûts des procédures, le manque de sensibilisation..«Il est donc essentiel de s'appuyer sur des méthodes de résolution de conflits qui sont proches, moins coûteuses pour les communautés, plus efficaces et adaptées aux coutumes locales pour la résolution des conflits. Les institutions locales pour la gestion des conflits devraient être renforcées et mieux soutenues et réglementées par l'État », ont-ils déclaré..  

Landgrabbing und Menschenrechte: Studie über die Rolle von EU-Akteuren im Ausland zeigt Handlungsbedarf; enthält Stellungnahmen der Unternehmen

24 Jul 2017 — Im Mai 2016 wurde im Auftrag des Europäischen Parlaments die Studie „Land Grabbing and Human Rights: The Involvement of European Corporate and Financial Entities in Land Grabbing outside the European Union“ veröffentlicht. Die Publikation dokumentiert u.a. Fälle von Landgrabbing in Sambia, Uganda, Kongo und Mosambik und beschreibt eine Vielzahl bislang ausgebliebener Handlungsmöglichkeiten der EU und ihrer Mitgliedstaaten, um das weltweite Landgrabbing zu reduzieren. Zu den folgenden Fällen, die im Bericht erwähnt werden, hat das Business & Human Rights Resource Centre bereits Stellungnahmen eingeholt: - Neumann Kaffee Gruppe in Uganda - EcoEnergy in Tanzania - Socfin in Sierra Leone - Khon Kaen Sugar in Cambodia - Siemens und Voith in Honduras. ABP und das Bundesentwicklungsministerium (BMZ) in Bezug auf den African Agricultural Trade and Investment Fund (AATIF) äußerten sich jeweils in den Medien zu Fällen [ABP nur auf Englisch].