LEGAL ASSESSMENT OF CIVIL SOCIETY INCLUDING PHILANTHROPIC ORGANIZATIONS IN UGANDA
Uganda is one of several countries in Africa, which have adopted legal measures constraining legitimate activities of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), including philanthropy organisations, through a myriad of laws.1 The legal framework in Uganda has encouraged government meddling in the sector, above and beyond regulation, while simultaneously building obstacles in the operational environment of CSOs. This legal framework violates commitments undertaken by Uganda under international and regional human rights treaties, in particular those related to freedoms of association, and assembly, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), both of which have been ratified by Uganda and provisions of which are also expressly provided for in the Constitution.
According to The Uganda National NGO Forum’s State of Civil Society Report, 2018, when respondents were asked to assess an individual’s freedom to participate in formal and informal organizations, nearly half of the respondents reported having difficulty in freely participating in informal and formal CSO activities. The main reason advanced for this is the misapplication of regulations by government officials that interfere with CSO activities.2 This restrictive legal environment is deeply concerning because the vibrancy of organized civil society has a direct
Uganda Final Legal Assessment Report