PRESS RELEASE 8 September 2016
LIRA – Urgent policy change is needed to provide redress to conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), say civil society and survivors in northern Uganda.
Through three consultative dialogues between 8 and 13 September 2016, a variety of stakeholders across northern Uganda are working to develop a roadmap to redress conflict-related SGBV.
Organised by the Justice and Reconciliation Project (JRP), the events bring government officials, civil society organizations, victim representatives, academia, cultural and religious leaders in Lira, Adjumani and Gulu.
“We need to step up the advocacy,” says Michael Otim, the former head of office for the International Center for Transitional Justice in Uganda, “We’ve made strides and we’ve had several meetings in the past, but there is rarely any follow through. These consultative dialogues, however, are very important because they allow us to design strategies to push for real redress for SGBV crimes.”
Since 2014, JRP has implemented a project called ‘‘Redress for Sexual-and Gender-Based Violence on Conflict Related Wrongs’’ aimed at supporting transitional justice (TJ) efforts of female survivors of SGBV in the northern Ugandan districts of Adjumani, Lira and Pader with funding of John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The consultative meetings aim to discuss key issues that emerged from research under the project, including establishing the extent of SGBV revictimisation among female survivors of conflict SGBV, reintegration challenges facing children born of war and their mothers, engaging men in redress for conflict SGBV as well as redress for conflict SGBV.
The dialogues provide an opportunity for officials to learn perspectives of survivors to inform policy and implementation.
“I want the local government and other authorities to know that they should channel government programmes to women so they can support children born of war,” said Judith Awari, a member of the Women’s Advocacy Network based in Agweng, Lira, during the meeting. “When [government programmes] are brought to men alone, their benefits of the do not reach women and children.”
Following these meetings, a roadmap for policy recommendations will be developed and a report published to inform the Ugandan government and other actors in TJ to address the unredressed needs of war-affected women and particularly survivors of conflict-SGBV.
Media Contact. Oryem Nyeko, Communications and Advocacy Team Leader, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0471 433008
About the Justice and Reconciliation Project. The Justice and Reconciliation Project (JRP) promotes locally sensitive and sustainable peace in Africa’s Great Lakes region by focusing on the active involvement of grassroots communities in local-level transitional justice. Formerly a partnership of the Gulu District NGO Forum and the Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia, Canada, JRP has played a key role in transitional justice in Uganda since 2005, through seeking to understand and explain the interests, needs, concerns and views of the communities affected by war between the Lord‟s Resistance Army (LRA) and Government of Uganda (GOU). For more information please visit http://www.justiceandreconciliation.com.