Navigating the question of protection for internally displaced persons (IDPs) require significant attention to their concerns in developing sustainable solutions. In certain instances, relocation may be resisted. Such resistance may be symptomatic of certain issues that need to be addressed. With a specific focus on the Bududa residents in the Mt. Elgon region of Uganda, this Policy Brief written by Onen David Ongwech examines the issue of resistance to relocation and advocates for rethinking protection strategies.
Let’s face it; some people are gifted and experienced in using words that can easily drain your energy and vitality. Keeping such people around you is nothing but spoiling your moments. Instead of fighting back, use your valuable time meaningfully. Take charge of your life and mute negative people and negative energy. If you agree with the audio mixer analogy, then from today, have control over what you hear, and decide on those that inspire and lifts your spirit, and mute people who add no value to your life. Remember if you keep them making noise, they can easily destroy you!
Dear Reader, Herein, I bring to you a copy of press statement released by Refugee Law Project on March 8, 2021, as the world held its 44th commemoration since the UN officially recognised International Women's Day (IWD) in 1977 to recognise achievements in the struggle for women's empowerment and gender equality. Since the historic UN Security Council Resolution of the 32nd regular session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1977, March 8 has become an important day in modern history when it comes to the struggle for gender justice. From its first commemoration in Uganda in 1984 (pioneered by then first lady Miria Obote) IWD has evolved considerably.
In case you missed the 2020 National Virtual Learning Event on Child Protection, and/or the presentation made during the event by Mr. Onen David Ongwech (RLP’s Programme Manager Gender & Sexuality), we are pleased to share a copy of the presentation titled; “Our Parents Do Not Know” Homeschooling fatigue among refugee children during COVID-19 induced lockdown”.
The 2020 National Virtual Learning Event on Child Wellbeing took place from 25 – 26 Nov 2020 and was co-hosted by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and the National Child Protection Working Group (NCPWG) guided by the theme “Child wellbeing during and Post COVID-19 Context in Uganda”.
The 2020 National Virtual Learning Event on Child Wellbeing starts today 25 – 26 Nov 2020. The event is co-hosted by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and the National Child Protection Working Group (NCPWG) guided by the theme “Child wellbeing during and Post COVID-19 Context in Uganda”. I’m glad my abstract titled “Our Parents Do Not Know” Homeschooling fatigue among refugee children during COVID-19 induced lockdown was accepted.
Refugee Law Project, with support from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is thus proud to partner with Uganda Counseling Association to use the occasion of the 16thAnnual Counsellors conference from 26-27 November 2020 to focus the attention of Uganda’s counselling professionals on “Attaining a Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body amidst Covid19: Focus on Forced Migration, Mental Health and Gender”. The conference, which will run from 8:30am to 2:30pm East African Time on both days, will be a blend of physical and online participants and presentations.
When peacekeepers are equipped to understand, respond to and prevent some of the dynamics that can destabilise an often fragile peace, then their value is greatly enhanced in post-conflict situations. This is particularly the case if they are able to engage pro-actively on issues of conflict-related sexual violence and its ‘post-conflict’ manifestations in the form of sexual exploitation and abuse. The report offers testimony to the value of such training endeavours, as well as to the importance of the International Protocol as a guiding document around which to organise both the content and the process.
As a former Internally Displaced Person (IDP), being a member of the Global Engagement Network on Internal Displacement in Africa (GENIDA) is simply rewarding. As a proud member, I draw your attention to our submission to the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement.
Since the first case of COVID-19 was detected in Uganda, lives have and continue to change dramatically. With several measures and televised Presidential directives, the #StayHome mantra continues to impact lives in various ways. Refugees and host communities have not been spared – if any, the pandemic has worsened the already biting challenges and vulnerabilities.
With some vulnerable communities in ‘hard-to-reach’ places at the receiving end of the directives and its associated enforcement and curfew, many of the things happening in and around refugee-hosting areas haven’t made it to the media. Many refugees and hosts are mired in inadequately documented challenges.
While communities have not resigned themselves to the hurdles at hand and are adopting numerous creative coping mechanisms, the ways in which such resilience and positive coping mechanisms can be supported and replicated elsewhere by government, civil society, and international actors requires further exploration.
In the statement to mark the occasion, RLP asked the question; What if we responded to sexual violence in conflict as an existential threat? The press statement took a critical look at what the national and international response to COVID-19 has taught us thus far about our collective potential to end sexual violence in conflict. If we can mobilise the resources and will to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, if we can close airports and public transport to better control the virus, couldn’t we do the same to better control sexual violence in conflict? While COVID-19 has directly harmed our capacity to respond to survivor needs in the short term, it has also made clear that to eliminate sexual violence in conflict we need a sea change in how it is perceived. We need to see it as the existential threat it undoubtedly is, and invest time, effort and resources correspondingly.