Project Description

By: Sylvia Opinia and Friederike Bubenzer
Pages: 8
Dimensions: A4
Date of publication:  2011

Gender Justice and Reconciliation in Northern Uganda


This policy brief assesses the gender‐specific transitional justice (TJ) needs of survivors of gender‐based violence in Northern Uganda.
From November 2010 to February 2011, the Justice and Reconciliation Project (JRP), in collaboration with the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR), organized a series of consultations with victims of conflict in Northern Uganda, entitled ‘Enhancing Grassroots Involvement in Transitional Justice Debates.’ The consultations, held in the Acholi/Lango, Teso, and West Nile sub‐regions, focused on truth‐telling, traditional justice, reparations and gender justice within the context of Uganda’s transitional justice processes. As part of the consultations, a separate session was held on the topic of gender justice and the extent to which it does / does not presently feature in Uganda’s transitional justice framework. Discussions at the consultations highlighted the need for Uganda’s unique gender relations and dynamics to be closely scrutinized and taken into consideration by policy‐makers in the development of transitional justice mechanisms.

The Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) is currently developing and implementing an accountability and reconciliation framework to deal with the legacies of conflict in Uganda. With the progress in the establishment of the International Crimes Division (ICD) of the High Court, JLOS has undertaken a series of consultations in order to propose law and policy reforms in line with its mandate. This process presents an excellent opportunity to critically examine and document the widespread occurrence of gender‐based violence in Northern Uganda and the vast implications on individuals and communities.

This policy brief describes gender‐based violence, its occurrence and effects on local communities during and after the conflict in Northern Uganda, as well as the needs of the victims as expressed during the JRP‐IJR consultations. It concludes with a series of recommendations to the Government of Uganda through the Justice Law and Order Sector.