Uganda: Increase in torture cases despite a strong legal framework

During its 75th CAT session, on 9 and 10 November 2022, the CAT considered Uganda’s second periodic report. The country rapporteurs were M. Adberrazak Rouwane and M. Bakhtiyar Tuzukhamedov.

The country delegation was led by Hon Kiryowa Kiwanuka, Attorney General.

Main issues discussed:

The Committee members welcomed Uganda’s efforts in developing its institutional and legal human rights framework. Uganda adopted, among others, a law preventing and prohibiting torture and created the Standing Human Rights Committee of Parliament and the Directorate of Human Rights and Legal Services within the Uganda Police Force.

However, the Committee members also noted with concern the high prevalence of torture acts, especially in “ungazetted” places of detention, to which both the National Human Rights Commission and civil society organisations have no access. Additionally, a climate of impunity continues to persist in the country. The experts are also concerned about the remaining overcrowding in prisons resulting in bad conditions of detention. The Committee members highlighted with grave concern the occurrence of human trafficking in the context of forced displacement, especially in refugee and asylum seekers camps.

The Committee also questioned the independence of the Uganda Human Rights Commission, as the members of this Commission presented themselves as part of the State's delegation during the country review instead of attending the private meeting with the Committee.

Please find the recommendations adopted by the CAT here.

Follow-up recommendations

The State party should provide by 25th November 2023 information on the implementation of the following recommendations related to:

  • Ungazetted or unauthorized places of detention
  • Gender-based violence
  • National Human Rights institution

Watch here (part one) and here (part two) the dialogue with the Committee.

Read the NGO alternative report submitted to the Committee