Uganda

Protecting Women and Children from Violence

For a family living in poverty, a house and a small patch of land provide a crucial source of shelter, food and income. But in Uganda, when a man dies, it is common for neighbors, relatives and other community members to steal the home and property from his widow and orphans—a devastating form of violence that targets some of the most vulnerable women and children in the country

Not only does land theft leave victims homeless, destitute and extremely vulnerable to other forms of abuse, it’s a violent crime. In an IJM study, nearly 1 out of 5 victims of land theft reported that the theft of their property involved a murder attempt on his or her life, and nearly 1 out of every 3 had threats of violence made against their children by perpetrators.

We are standing with widows and orphans in two of the areas hardest-hit by this crime.

What We Do

RESCUE VICTIMS

We work with Local Council leaders (the community-level representative of the justice system), police and the court system to restore widows and orphans to the homes that have been stolen from them.

BRING CRIMINALS TO JUSTICE

We work with police and prosecutors to bring criminal cases against perpetrators—especially in cases of violence, intimidation or fraud.

RESTORE SURVIVORS

We provide counseling, ensure that children can go to school, and partner with local aftercare providers to help women begin income-generating projects, so they can rebuild their lives from a place of strength.

STRENGTHEN JUSTICE SYSTEMS

We are working with the Ugandan Police Force, local leaders, Administrator General’s office, and the Ugandan Court system to dramatically improve the justice system response to land theft.

Our Progress

  • We have restored more than 1700 widows, orphans and their families to their homes since 2008. Meet one of them »

  • We have secured convictions of more than 60 perpetrators of land theft—a powerful sign when previously perpetrators of this crime were virtually never brought to justice.

  • Through IJM’s support, Uganda's police force has deployed a specialized team of investigators with the resources, training and mandate to respond to land theft crimes, for the first time in its history. Learn more »

  • In October 2017, IJM and the Chief Justice of Uganda signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding, outlining a commitment to work together to end violence against women and children in Uganda.

Our Teams in Uganda

UGANDA

National director

Shawn Kohl

KAMPALA, UGANDA

ESTABLISHED 2002

Focus

LAND THEFT

Field office director

James Foster

National director

Shawn Kohl

Factsheet

IJM Kampala

GULU, UGANDA

ESTABLISHED 2012

Focus

LAND THEFT

Field office director

Chris Marshall

Factsheet

IJM Gulu

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