The initial mandate focused on the human rights situation in the conflict-affected areas of Northern and North-Eastern Uganda. In 2009, the mandate of the OHCHR presence in Uganda was extended to cover the entire country and all human rights issues. OHCHR is currently in discussion with the Government of Uganda about the modalities of a continued presence in the country.
Type of engagement
Head office in Kampala and 2 offices in Moroto and Gulu
Annual budget needs
- OHCHR engages closely with the UHRC in an effort to increase its institutional capacity through joint monitoring missions, protection coordination meetings with JLOS actors in Karamoja, elaboration of a database to facilitate follow-up to recommendations from human rights mechanisms and trainings for UHRC staff on such issues as business and human rights.
- Over the years, OHCHR has trained a wide range of Human Rights Defenders from across Uganda and supported them to create in 2017 a Women Human Rights Defenders Network and a rapid response mechanism to address urgent cases affecting Women Human Rights Defenders.
- With the UHCR, OHCHR supported advocacy efforts by the Coalition Against Torture (CAT) to enact the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act (2012). Sustained advocacy on the implementation of the Act has led to personal liability of offenders. In 2018, OHCHR engaged with the Directorate of Public Prosecution on its role in bringing perpetrators of torture and ill-treatment to justice.
- After the disarmament process in Karamoja, continued engagement with authorities led to the initiation of the Court Martial to help reduce the backlog of cases in army courts. Through joint protection and coordination meetings, OHCHR supports building of the police in Karamoja that is implementing its mandate in line with human rights.
- OHCHR is engaging with partners to advance adoption of the Witness and Victims Protection Bill and efforts by NGO partners to secure justice for conflict-related sexual violence. This included organising in 2018 a Forum for 68 survivors of sexual violence in Gulu, Northern Uganda, on whose behalf a court case was submitted.
- OHCHR has facilitated capacity-building for journalists and media professionals on human rights standards and gender-sensitive reporting. A total of 146 journalists (67 men and 79 women) were trained in 2017 alone. There has since been a notable increase in reporting by journalists of alleged violations of human rights, especially during law enforcement operations.
- Following the 2016 recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) to Uganda, OHCHR supported a review of disability legislation to align the domestic laws with the CRPD.
- OHCHR has worked with the Office of the Prime Minister, National Planning Authority, Uganda Bureau of Statistics and UHRC in implementing a human rights based approach to development at district level. In seeking to advance SDG3 and SDG5, OHCHR has worked with the Ministry of Health to develop a multi-sectoral approach to reducing maternal mortality.
- OHCHR has engaged with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other partners in advancing a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights, in line with recommendations made during the UPR. This has included trainings of members of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Human Rights, UHRC staff and others.
- OHCHR continues to raise awareness in its engagement with national and international partners of the human rights situation in Uganda and the activities of the Office. Read more.
Partners and Donors
Partners: UN agencies, Government of Uganda, Uganda Human Rights Commission, Equal Opportunities Commission, National Council of Disability, Parliament of Uganda, Justice, Law and Order Sector, Director of Public Prosecutions, CSOs.
Donors: Austria, Norway, Sweden.
UN Human Rights Focus Areas
Mechanisms: Increasing implementation of the international human rights mechanisms outcomes
Development: Integrating human rights in sustainable development
Accountability: Strengthening rule of law and accountability for human rights violations
Non-discrimination: Enhancing equality and countering discrimination
Participation: Enhancing & protecting civic space and people's participation
Peace and Security: Early warning, prevention & protection of human rights in situations of conflict & insecurity
People on the move
Last reviewed: July 2020