MCJL Holds a Human Rights Conference On Domestic Relations Legislation in Uganda

On 25th November 2020, the Muslim Centre for Justice and Law (MCJL) held the 3rd Annual Muslim Human Rights Conference at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala, under the theme “Addressing the question of the domestic relations legislation in Uganda”.

The conference was attended by various delegates and dignitaries, including the Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, who was the chief guest.

In her remarks, Hon. Kadaga raised concern over the delay by the government to introduce amendments to several laws on family justice. She pointed out that courts have handed down several judgements different marriage and succession issues but the government has not yet made amendments to accommodate recommendations from these judgements.  

Hon. Kadaga also underscored the need to address access to justice for all Ugandans, especially for people with special needs. She requested human rights organisations and Ugandans to lobby to ensure that access to justice for all is attained.

“Do we have the infrastructure? Are courts accessible to all? Do we have enough lawyers and judicial officers to help people with special needs? Do we speak a language they understand?” she asked the conference participants.

On behalf of the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF), Anders Bastholm, a Programme Learning Manager, pointed out the need to enhance family justice in Uganda. He revealed that family-related injustices are some of the most outstanding issues that came up during the COVID-19 lockdown in the country.

“Our partners continue to report an upsurge in abuse of women and children’s rights with heightened cases of domestic violence, sexual abuse of girls, homeless women, child labour, early marriages, teenage pregnancies, among others,” Bastholm revealed. 

He recognized the remarkable display of agility and adaptability by our partners to provide legal services to communites at all times, even during the COVID-19 lock down.

“Amidst insurmountable human rights challenges we have seen the emergence and strengthening of human rights situation rooms, ‘barefoot’ lawyers walking or on bicycle continuing their support at the community level. We have seen community awareness campaigns done with mobile sound systems, and witnessed an increase of radio broadcasts and messaging via social media. MCJL is a clear example of this with outreach and activities based in strong community networks including mosques and religious community groups,” he said.

The DGF supports MCJL to implement a project titled “Enhancing Access to Justice for the Poor and Marginalised Particularly in Selected Muslim Communities in Uganda.”