October 03, 2023

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Human Rights and Accountability

Human Rights and Accountability (2)

Human rights observance is a critical feature of Uganda’s governance and the rule of law as emphasized in the Vision 2040. The Sub-programme is focusing on strengthening JLOS institutions to eliminate human rights violations as well as promoting citizens’ rights and obligations within the framework of the National Action Plan for Human Rights.

 A total of 350 out of the 582 (60%) complaints were reported against JLOS institutional staff. The alleged human rights violations reported against JLOS institutions were against UPF (319), UPS (14) and Local Governments (17). The sub-programme adopted a human rights-based approach. 35. There is a 43.9% reduction in alleged human rights violations by JLOS Institutions compared to the 624 cases reported in FY2016/17.

Compliance with the 48hrs rule is still low, the capacity of JLOS human rights structures at service points is still low. There is delayed approval of the Uganda National Action Plan on Human Rights as well as limited enforcement of existing legal and policy frameworks on human rights. There is limited capacity of staff in human rights-based approach and there exist inefficient and ineffective Human Rights case management systems JLOS institutions. There is therefore need to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of Human Rights promotion institutions, build capacity of duty bearers, strengthen treaty reporting and undertake human rights violation targeting.

Human rights violation and abuses are partly caused by lack of information by the citizens about their rights and where to claim for protection. The Sub-programme has commenced the development of a coherent framework that would streamline and further guide knowledge empowerment of the people of Uganda. Specifically, the UHRC and JSC commenced the development of a civic education strategy that will among others support compliance with legal and human rights, provide for platforms for social accountability, re-enforce participatory governance, and foster constitutionalism and the rule of law. Despite the efforts thus far there is still limited awareness on human rights standards and citizens ‘responsibilities as well as limited dissemination of information on human rights.


Fight against corruption

Uganda’s corruption perception index continued to improve from 0.24 to 0.26 and the clearance rate of corruption cases by the Anti-Corruption Division (ACD) increased from 96% in 2016/17 to 97.7% in 2019 while the clearance rate of complaints against lawyers, police and JLOS officers increased from 75% in 2016/17 to 97.7% in 2019.

The implementation of the Sub-programme anti-corruption strategy is largely on track. There is effort to asset recovery by the ODPP for restraining properties of officers implicated in corruption cases. Consequently, 7% of the value of proceeds of crimes was recovered vis-à-vis the set target of 20%. 39. The low performance was due to; on-going valuation process of some properties, high cost of valuation, understaffing in Government Valuation Department. There is however need for a comprehensive asset recovery framework, de-concentration of ACD service to regional level and up-country stations; promote automation; fast track enactment of relevant legislation and strengthen the anti-corruption forum.


The Human Rights and Accountability Working Group is a thematic sub-structure of the JLOS Technical Committee that is responsible for the development and oversight of sector interventions to strengthen and promote human rights and accountability programs, processes and structures.

The Working Group enables deeper consideration of human rights issues within the broad spectrum of enhancing access to justice for all, specially the vulnerable persons. This is a response to the need for more effective and better institutionalized linkages that was identified in the JLOS Mid Term Review as affecting the level of impact and implementation of JLOS programs. Therefore, the Group is a key driver in improving the promotion, protection and respect of human rights within JLOS institutions and also ensuring accountability in service delivery.


The Working Group is an extension of the JLOS Technical Committee and offers in-depth consideration of JLOS interventions that is otherwise not be possible in the Technical Committee. The Working Group reports to the Technical Committee for decisions related to resource allocation and management. It is resourced by the JLOS Advisor for Human Rights and Accountability, whose mandate includes providing technical advisory support, coordinating the Group’s activities and acts as the link to the JLOS secretariat.

Mandate and Functions
The mandate of the Group is to support the Technical Committee in the implementation of the JLOS SDP and in monitoring and evaluation of JLOS interventions.

The Group has to ensure that issues concerning the Human Rights and Accountability component influence the agenda of the Technical Committee and Steering Committee, and bring to the fore emerging issues of national importance.

The Working Group handles matters relating to;
1.    Promotion and protection of human rights at individual and institutional levels;
2.    Promotion of internal and external JLOS accountability;
3.    Adoption and implementation of the Anti-corruption measures in JLOS;
4.    Promotion of accountability in Transitional Justice, and
5.    Handling emerging broader human rights and accountability thematic issues.

The Human Rights and Accountability Working Group has various functions that include;
a.    Promote observance of human rights and accountability within JLOS MDAs;
b.    Identify constraints to the achievement of the Human Rights and Accountability programs to the sector structures for redress;
c.    Monitor and evaluate the implementation of the Human Rights and Accountability Reform Programs;
d.    Prepare analysed and comprehensive progress reports on Human Rights and Accountability programs within the overall program for the Technical Committee;
e.    Recommend relevant changes to JLOS SIP III implementation activities as necessary;
f.    Respond to issues raised by the Technical Committee, Steering Committee and Leadership Committee;
g.    Benchmark the JLOS Human Rights and Accountability interventions against other successful sectors/models;
h.    Support sector publicity;
i.    Support the sector in lobbying for funds;
j.    Develop action plans and budgets for the Human Rights and Accountability component;
k.    Perform any other tasks that may be assigned by the Technical Committee. 

When implementing its functions, the Group is obliged to continually mainstream cross-cutting issues  (such as poverty, gender, conflict, HIV-AIDS , and environment) in all activities and also focus on pro-poor programming, low cost but efficient initiatives, vulnerable groups, and bear sensitivity to conflict/post conflict affected areas.

The Working Group is required to provide a work plan supported with a procurement plan to the JLOS secretariat at the end of each financial year.

In line with SDP:
1.    To the extent possible, each JLOS institution is required to nominate at least two (2) suitable representatives to the Working Group. One is be a senior technical person knowledgeable in the thematic area, and an alternate.
2.    Civil Society Organizations and private sector bodies are expected to express interest in participating in the Working Group. Once deemed relevant and admitted to the Group, a CSO is required to nominate one suitable representative to the Working Group.

The selected representatives/members are expected to:
1.    Attend meetings regularly and participate in the activities of the Working Group;
2.    Provide feedback and report on  implementation of programs;
3.    Provide their respective institutions with reports and updates on the work of the Working Group.

Membership of the Working Group shall be drawn from the 17 JLOS institutions and non-State actors. The Working Group may also co-opt persons from other institutions if the matter under discussion so requires. The current membership of the working group is as follows;

JLOS Institutions
1.    Uganda Law Society (ULS)
2.    Judiciary
3.    National Community Service Program (NCSP)
4.    Non-Government Organisations’ Board (NGO Board)
5.    Amnesty Commission (MIA-AC)
6.    Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP)
7.    Uganda Prisons Service (UPS)
8.    Judicial Service Commission (JSC)
9.    Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MoGLSD)
10.    Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC)
11.    Law Development Centre (LDC)
12.    Ministry of Justice & Constitutional Affairs (MoJCA)
13.    Uganda Law Reform Commission (ULRC)
14.    Uganda Police Force (UPF)
15.    Department of Citizenry and Immigration Control (DCIC)
16.    Uganda Law Council (ULC)
17.    Centre for Arbitration and Dispute Resolution (CADER)
18.    Tax Appeals Tribunal (TAT)
19.    Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB)
20.    Ministry of Local Government (Local Council Courts)

Non-State Institutions
1.    Independent Development Fund (IDF)
2.    National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU)
3.    JLOS Development Partners Group Focal persons (JLOS DPG)
4.    Human Rights Network (HURINET)
5.    Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI)
6.    Anti-Corruption Coalition of Uganda (ACCU)

The leadership of the Working Group is determined by both the Technical Committee and Group membership.

The Chairperson of the Human Rights and Accountability Working Group is selected by the Technical Committee from its membership, while the Alternate Chairperson of the Working Group is determined annually by members from among the membership of the Working Group.

The Chairperson has the following functions:
a)    Chairs Working Group meetings;
b)    Communicate key issues and suggestions made by the Working Group to stakeholders;
c)    Manages timely progress of meetings and tasks assigned to members;
d)    Provides strategic direction for the Working Group;
e)    Presents reports to the Technical Committee on behalf of the Working Group.

The Advisor- Human Rights and Accountability is the Secretary to the Working Group. The Secretary is responsible for timely documentation of the submissions, minutes and any documentation for the Working Group and the contact person for the same.
Meetings of the Working Group

The Group endeavors to meet on a monthly basis.  The Chairperson determines the date and venue for the meetings of the Working Group. The Secretary is responsible for invitations to the meetings of the Working Group.  Unless otherwise agreed, notice of each meeting informing members of the venue, time, date and agenda is sent to the members of the Working Group a week in advance.

A quorum is dully constituted by a simple representative majority. A duly convened meeting of the Working Group, at which quorum is attained, is competent to exercise all or any of the powers and authority vested in or exercised by the Working Group.

The Human Rights and Accountability Group is one of the five Working Groups that the Technical Committee operates through, with a focus of deepening JLOS interventions especially regarding promoting the observance of human rights and accountability within the Sector. The concerted efforts of the JLOS Working Groups should substantially contribute towards the promotion of the rule of law in Uganda.