The exploitation of natural resources plays a critical role in the Uganda government’s plans to develop the country. Extractive industries are up scaling their activity as the sector is gearing up for the exploitation of oil and gaz by 2020. In a country where most people live off the land, the construction of industrial infrastructure carries great risks for the protection of fundamental rights. The Uganda Land Inquiry Commission keeps shedding light on abuses made to small land owners by both private and public infrastructure projects: forced and/or unlawful acquisition, default in compensating sellers, fraud in valuation of property, intimidation by security forces, etc.
The tabled overhaul of the right to protection from deprivation of property (Article 26 of the 1995 Constitution) carries great risks for communities affected by government’s projects. Avocats Sans Frontières and ANARDE are committed to ensuring access to justice for most vulnerable people in the Albertine Graben and Karamoja. From their work with communities affected by extractive industries and land deprivation, the two organisations issued a Policy brief on the effects the tabled reform may have in a context of widespread and complex land conflicts.