Uganda – Non-judicial grievance mechanism
CHAPTER THREE: SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS
3.7 Access to Remedy
In addition to the judicial mechanisms, victims can also seek quasi-judicial mechanisms for remedy. There are other tribunals such as Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) Tribunal and the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) Tribunal.
The aforementioned legal protection notwithstanding, stakeholder consultations revealed that the complex nature of court procedures, along with social, economic and political factors, present barriers in accessing remedy. Some of the challenges in accessing effective remedies include: access to court, inadequate number of judicial officers, high cost of litigation, long distance to court, delayed payment of awards, limited enforcement of judicial decisions and inadequate internal grievance redress mechanisms. For instance, a case filed in 2013 regarding persons who were internally displaced due to the establishment of a sugar factory was not concluded by June 2019. The delay in dispensing justice puts the affected persons at a risk of loss of livelihoods, food insecurity, and lack of access to basic services like health care, safe and clean water and education for the children among others.
It is therefore important to improve the process of acquiring land and other assets for business operations, improve the method of relocating communities and provide access to remedy for the victims of violations and abuses of human rights.
CHAPTER FOUR: STRATEGIES AND INTERVENTIONS STRATEGIES
OBJECTIVE 1: To strengthen institutional capacity, operations and coordination efforts of state and non-state actors for the protection and promotion of human rights in businesses.
4.1.2 Capacity building for state and non-state actors on business and human rights
i. Strengthen the technical capacity of judicial and non-judicial agencies on business and human-rights related issues.
OBJECTIVE 4: To promote social inclusion and rights of the vulnerable and marginalized individuals and groups in business operations.
4.4.2 Engagement of business operators on human rights
iii. Ensure the establishment and strengthening of gender and equity-responsive internal grievance redress mechanisms in business operations.
OBJECTIVE 5: To enhance access to remedy to victims of business-related human rights abuses and violations in business operations.
4.5.1 Strengthen access to remedy mechanisms against business-related human rights abuses and violations
- Awareness raising on workers’ rights and available remedy mechanisms for business-related human rights abuses and violations.
- Provision of government-supported legal aid services to workers, especially vulnerable groups including women, persons with disabilities, persons living with HIV and AIDS and minorities.
- Strengthening the capacity of judicial and quasi-judicial institutions to provide remedy to business-related human rights abuses and violations.
- Strengthening laws and policies providing for effective, inclusive and gender-responsive remedies on business-related matters.
- Increasing human and financial resources to support the monitoring and inspection of business operations.
- Strengthening avenues available for remedy to business-related human rights violations and abuses.
- Enhancing inter-sector and inter-agency coordination in handling complaints of victims of business-related human rights abuses and violations.
- Strengthening linkages and referrals for human rights violations and abuses in business operations.
4.5.2 Improve access to legal services to communities affected by business-related human rights violations and abuses
- Build capacity of lawyers, human rights defenders, judicial officers, communities and other stakeholders on access to remedy for human rights abuses and violations related to business operations.
- Provide free legal aid services to communities affected by business-related human rights abuses and violations.
- Strengthen linkages and referrals for human rights violations and abuses.
- Promote alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
- Promote the use of regional and international remedy mechanisms for violations and abuses related to business.
CHAPTER FIVE: INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK
5.3 Uganda Human Rights Commission
x. Receive, investigate and adjudicate cases of human rights violations in business operations.
5.6 Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs
iv. Coordinate the formulation and review of legislation pertaining to business and human rights.
v. Promote access to justice for victims of human rights violations in business operations.
vi. Innovate solutions to quicken conclusion of court cases.
5.16 The communities and households
The community and households will;
ii. Strengthen social support networks and mechanisms to protect and promote the welfare of vulnerable groups.
The strategic implementation framework in the 1.0 Appendices includes:
- Strategic Action, Objective 4.0: Empower communities to demand for protection and fulfilment of their rights and access to justice.
- Objective 5.0 – To enhance access to remedy to victims of business-related human rights abuses and violations in business operations.
Budgeted outputs in Annex I include:
- Strengthen the technical capacity of judicial and non-judicial agencies on business and human-rights related issues. (Objective 1.0)
- Review and strengthen the capacity and function the probation and labour department to handle labour-related grievances (Objective 1.0)
- Establishing and/ or strengthening laws, policies and grievance redress mechanisms to ensure accountability by businesses (Objective 2.0)
- Awareness raising on available remedy mechanisms for business-related human rights abuses and violations. (Objective 5.0)
- Strengthen laws and policies providing for effective remedies on business-related matters (Objective 5.0)
- Build capacity of lawyers, human rights defenders and judicial officers on access to remedy for business and human rights. (Objective 5.0)
- Provide free legal services to communities affected by business-related human rights abuses and violations. (Objetive 5.0)