On the 27th of November KIT launched its latest publication: “Pathways of justice and equity in land administration and dispute resolution in Uganda. Perspectives of Ugandan Civil Society Organisations” in Kampala, Uganda. The book is a joint publication between KIT, the Center for Basic Research (CBR) and 5 Ugandan civil society organisations working on land rights and equity in the country(FIDA Uganda, LEMU, Microjustice, ULA and UWMA). The book was officially launched by his excellency H. E. Alphons Hennekens, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Uganda. Representatives of Ugandan Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), international organisations, the Ugandan government, academic institutions and members of the
media attended the launch.
Key findings and a publication
KIT’s work in collaboration with the Center for Basic Research UMWA, FIDA Uganda, LEMU, ULA and Microjustice Uganda on justice, gender and land equity resulted in key findings related to weak justice and land administration systems failing people’s rights. One was the existence of a rich body of knowledge and experiences among numerous Ugandan CSOs, which has an impact on the promotion and protection of land rights in the country. These CSOs use different approaches to accompany often poor women to walk different pathways to claim their rights and overcome the barriers to achieve land equity and justice.
Achieving Land Equity: Main challenges for men and women
In the book five CSOs co-authors discuss the main challenges women and men face in accessing land administration and justice institutions and the possible pathways to claim and secure their rights to land. It highlights the knowledge, work and learning of Ugandan media, para-legal and human rights organisations and stresses the need to support their initiatives.because they are able to enter the institutions and address the critical obstacles to land justice. Sandra Quintero, co-editor : “The book presents the analysis and documentation of 5 cases that explore the root causes of land right failures, the gender dimensions of land rights and the responses by the CSOs involved. In this publication we advocate for continued and increased support to the collaboration between the CSOs. This will enable a stronger collective voice at the national policy level and lead to improved new and existing interventions. We believe that will lead to more justice outcomes for men and women and ultimately to achieving land equity.”
Chain of Justice
Understanding that justice goes beyond the law, KIT developed an analytical framework called “the chain of justice” informed by a gender and rights approach. This framework allows to look for justice outcomes in the process (chain of justice) women and men go through claiming justice and contributes to identify root causes of land rights failures and (gender) injustices and ways to address them. This framework guided the analysis and documentation process of this book.
Reaching out to international audiences and getting recognition and support from donors and international and national actors
During the official launch at CBR’s offices in Kampala Ambassador Hennekens stressed in his speech: “the work of NGOs is crucial in generating bottom-up demands and solutions including strengthening customary institutions and practices in relation to land and property rights as the most effective way forward in the short to medium term. Those who want to think outside the box view alternative approaches such as informal, community-based institutions as better placed to provide inexpensive, expedient and culturally appropriate solutions for access to some forms of justice, defining and exercising rights, among others.”
As a next step of this initiative KIT, CBR, FIDA Uganda, ULA and UMWA have drafted a proposal for a joint action learning program which aims to take forward the main recommendations of the book. This will be done by embarking in a process that allows to engage in collective learning trajectories in which the organisations act and reflect on their work and the root causes of land inequity and gender injustice in Uganda involving the different actors they work with including duty bearers and right holders.