Comments On the International Criminal Court Draft Policy Paper On Sexual and Gender Based Crimes

Submitted By Refugee Law Project 23 February 2014. We are pleased to share with you our Commentary on the International Criminal Court Draft (ICC) Policy on Sexual and Gender Based Crimes, which we submitted to the Office of the Prosecutor on 23 February 2014, in response to a public call for comments.
This commentary was prepared by the RLP in collaboration with the International Human Rights Law Clinic, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.
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South–Sudan Crisis: Impact on Northern Uganda.

ACCS Project's Rapid Assesment Report. From the time the current violent conflict started in South Sudan, the Districts bordering South Sudan within Northern Uganda have been receiving refugees fleeing from the conflict in large numbers.  The immediate concerns have been security implications for post-conflict northern Uganda and attendant humanitarian crisis. This report assessed  the situation on the ground  inside the  Ugandan  border and highlights the  issues,  figures, patterns and perceptions of refugees, asylum seekers, and key stakeholders. The report also looked at the immediate social-economic  and political impact of the crisis within the refugee  host districts including the relationships between the asylum seekers/refugees and local communities. The report was prepared for early warning purposes and presented sub-regional leaders (LCVs, RDCs, DPCs, CAOs, DISOs, and UPDF representatives) from Acholi and West Nile sub-regions in Gulu on 20th January 2014.
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Identifying sexual violence and access to HIV service among male refugees in Uganda

This presentation titled “Identifying sexual violence and access to HIV service among male refugees in Uganda” was delivered in Bangkok in October 2013 during SVRI conference, and was jointly developed with our partners from Johns Hopkins University of Public Health.

In January 2013, the Center for Public Health and Human Rights, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Refugee Law Project, School of Law, Makerere Universtiy started a collaborative research project on “Assessment Screening to Identify Survivors Toolkit for Gender Based Violence (ASIST-GBV) for Men and Boys in Uganda” funded by the United States Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration funded this project. It builds on JHU’s previous research and success in developing the ASIST-GBV to screen and identify female refugee and IDP survivors of GBV in Ethiopia and Colombia, as well as on Refugee Law Project’s extensive experience working in Uganda with male refugee and IDP survivors of sexual violence.

The aim of the project was to develop a screening tool for systematic identification of refugees and IDP men and boy survivors of sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict settings. Prior to this project, no such screening tool has ever been developed, and it is seemed highly probable that only a small proportion of male survivors of GBV ever report their experience and/or access appropriate services.

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ACCS - Northern Uganda Conflict Analysis

ACCS - Northern Uganda Conflict AnalysisSix years after the guns fell silent, and months into the second iteration of the Peace, Recovery and Development Programme (PRDP), the question of whether northern Uganda is truly at peace remains unanswered in many people’s minds. An examination of regional and sub-regional conflict drivers by the three members of the Advisory Consortium on Conflict Sensitivity (ACCS) - International Alert, Refugee Law Project, Saferworld - over 2010-2012 aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of conflict drivers that have the potential to undermine development and peacebuilding efforts underway in PRDP II. It focuses on people’s perceptions of whether the PRDPs and associated interventions are increasing the likelihood of long-term peace and stability in the region. This conflict analysis reveals that many communities in northern Uganda appear to be in a state of latent conflict, with increasingly frequent manifestations of overt conflict including clashes between communities and government officials, violent community disputes over resources, and sexual and gender-based violence. The inadequately addressed legacies of the war with the Lord’s Resistance Army, fuelled by new and long-standing grievances, are keeping communities in a state of unease where trigger events can lead to a rapid escalation of violence. Conflict drivers identified in this analysis (such as land grabbing, corruption, and competition over natural resources) are creating a context that many respondents believe will lead to a return to overt conflict, whether in the form of increasing social unrest or more organised violence. Download the full report

Baseline Survey Report on Access to Justice for Forced Migrants

This baseline survey conducted in November to December 2012 was intended to guide activity implementation for the Access to Justice Project for forced migrants funded by Democratic Governance Facility in the districts of Mbarara, Isingiro, Hoima, Masindi and Kiryandongo. The survey was carried out to explore access to justice realities in order to inform RLP’s project implementation and ensure provision of need based services. The findingsfrom the study will also inform the Justice, Law and Order Sector on critical areas for intervention.

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We saw what was done but not our will was done: Assessing the impact of the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan 1 in northern Uganda

The Peace Recovery Development Plan (PRDP) was launched in 2009 after an elongated planning process which began in 2007. It was designed to address the needs of Northern Uganda as it emerged from two decades of conflict. The multi-donor framework, focused on four areas: consolidation of state authority, rebuilding and empowering communities, economic revitalisation and peacebuilding and reconciliation. However, the document has struggled to achieve its stated ambitions.

This baseline study addresses the impact of PRDP I as a way of providing a baseline for the second phase, which began in July 2012. The study was done under the auspices of the Advisory Consortium on Conflict Sensitivity (ACCS). This looks to deliver contextual analysis of the overall recovery process focusing on conflict
indicators, actors and dynamics, identifying early warning messages for advocacy purposes.

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Roundtable discussion with Police Officers and Police Surgeons

Refugee Law Project organized a roundtable discussion with Police officers and Police Surgeons that took place on Wednesday 19th April 2013. The roundtable was a result of key issues emerging from the various trainings, which suggested a need to conduct several follow-ups, including the roundtable, to maximize effective response to and prevention of Sexual Gender Based Violence and Persecution.

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"In the Service of the Lord's Army"; memoirs of a boy soldier from northern Uganda

“In the service of the Lord’s army” is a biography about Norman Okello; a young man from northern Uganda who was abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army at the age of twelve and forced to become one of its harbingers of death. This book will tell a true story of epic proportions, about severe hardships and extreme strength and resilience in events that happened in a strange but real world about fifteen years ago. The book tells the tale of how one of the most brutal rebel groups in the world changed the life of one individual irreversibly. It will show how a young child was able to cope in this hostile environment and navigate through all the hardships.

Health and Peace Recovery: Situation Report on Nodding Syndrome Case Management

ACCS Project activity brief. This report is a follow up on the developments associated with Nodding Syndrome (NS) in northern Uganda. It serves as a catalyst in advocacy for sufficient response to the plight of NS patients in post conflict northern Uganda. It calls for the establishment of conditions that can meet the basic needs and aspirations of the victims as was observed in the International Scientific Meeting on Nodding Syndrome in August 2012 in Kampala. Though the report is limited to developments associated with Nodding Syndrome disease in Kitgum district, it serves as a reminder to concerned stakeholders that the NS remains a challenge and needs an adequate response.
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