Greater Masaka Region Stakeholder Engagements On Socio-Economic Rights, Covid-19, The East African Crude Oil Pipeline & Respect For Free Prior And Informed Consent
The UCCA and partners COTFONE planned engagements are anchored around the need to ensure community consultations and meaningful participation of various stakeholders in the project design and implementation. The relevant stakeholders including companies and government agencies must ensure respect for free prior and informed consent (FPIC) of the affected communities as a key avenue to mitigate disputes that often arise in compulsory land acquisition and resettlement processes. In most of these circumstances, vulnerable groups do not participate or benefit in the process which triggers disputes and affects sustainable development.
Factoring in the ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic—especially for the already marginalized and vulnerable communities, the UCCA AND COTFONE teamS will work with partners to design initiatives targeted at social and economic protection and also ensuring that private actors engaged in social services don’t abuse and violate human rights. The strategies shall also highlight the remedial mechanisms in place and work around strengthening and empowering affected communities resolve to self advocate to enhance corporate accountability.
This being the first UCCA engagements in Greater Masaka Region, the UCCA and partners COTFONE shall ensure spread-out week long activities targeting different stakeholders including Local Government Officials, the Judiciary, Police, Company Representatives, CBOs and CSOs operating in the region and Community leaders among others. The planned activities shall run from August 24, to 28th 2020 in Masaka.
The current pandemic situation means some of the planned community engagements will be affected and the team will have to hold Focus Group Discussions (FGD) with select community leaders to elicit views regarding the subject matter. This is largely due to the importance of abiding by government directives and public measures, to contain the spread of the pandemic. All planned activities will work with few participants but broadly utilize media platforms to enhance further reach. This GREATER MASAKA Stakeholder engagement is deliberately designed to introduce the UCCA objectives and theory of change around corporate accountability and to also engage with communities around the impact of COVID-19 on their social and economic life and how various stakeholders including corporate actors have impacted or affected their human rights situation not only during the pandemic but also for planned projects and other development endeavours.
The Greater Masaka engagements will be anchored around UCCA’s broader national and regional strategic direction focused on empowering communities to self advocate, equipping CSOs and CBOs with skills and resources required in the advanced of respect for ESCRs in the context of business activities and enhancing corporate accountability in Uganda. The team shall also assess how the vulnerable and marginalized communities are engaging with relevant stakeholders during the COVID pandemic and how access to social services has been affected by the pandemic.