The ICRC in Uganda
The ICRC in Uganda focuses on activities in favour of refugees and detainees, ensuring access to water and sanitation (in collaboration with the Uganda Red Cross Society— URCS) and supporting the integration and promotion of international humanitarian law (IHL).
In the Karamoja region in north-east Uganda, the ICRC closely monitors the conditions of the civilian population, drawing the attention of weapon bearers to any alleged abuses of these civilians, as they may run contrary to relevant national and international laws. Alongside the work of the ICRC, its partner, the URCS, provides assistance to communities in the area. It undertakes dissemination on the principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to the wider community in order to gain acceptance and ensure safe access for its staff, volunteers and other Movement partners to those who may be affected during any outbreak of violence.
Consistent with its international mandate and in agreement with the Ugandan authorities, the ICRC ensures countrywide monitoring of the treatment of detainees in civilian and military places of detention, working with the authorities to improve conditions in these places. It also collaborates with the Ugandan Prison Service towards improving access to quality preventive and curative care for inmates affected by HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria in Luzira / Kampala, Gulu and Fort Portal prisons.
Together with the URCS, the ICRC has continued to register and monitor the situation of unaccompanied minors separated from their families by armed conflict in the region through a programme that traces the families of these children and where possible, reunites them with their loved ones. It runs a physical rehabilitation programme in Fort Portal and Mbale which seeks to improve access to quality care for the physically handicapped in Eastern and Western Uganda.
The ICRC has been present in Uganda since 1979 and promotes greater awareness of international humanitarian law (IHL) among the authorities, the armed forces, academics and civil society, in addition to supporting the effort of the National IHL Committee in integrating IHL into national legislation.