OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER OPERATIONALISING THE NATIONAL POLICY FOR IDPS Kampala-Uganda, April 2005 (OPM TA 01 Draft) OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER DEPARTMENT OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT AND REFUGEES 1 Table of Contents Page Number Introduction 1 1. Establishing an Institutional Framework 2 2. Upholding Human Rights 2 3. Developing Sectoral Programmes 3 4. Advocacy and Public Information 4 5. Publicising the National Policy for IDPs 4 6. Preparing National, Regional, District and Sector Plans 5 7. Mines and Unexploded Ordinances 6 8. Resource Mobilisation 6 9. Monitoring and Coordination 7 10. Establishing Database 7 11.Miscellaneous 7 2 Introduction Uganda is one of the first few countries in the world to institute a National Policy specifically targeted at Internally Displaced Persons. It is an integral tool in efforts to tackle the varied and devastating effects of displacement. It seeks to establish principles which will serve as a guide to Government institutions, humanitarian and development agencies while providing assistance and protection to IDPs in Uganda. This will then ensure that the various needs of the internally displaced are addressed in a significant and effective manner and that IDPs shall enjoy the same rights and freedoms under the Constitution and all other laws, as do all other persons in Uganda. However while the formulation of the National Policy is a significant step forward, its benefits will only be achieved by its successful implementation and its ability to make a real and meaningful impact on the many men, women and children who are currently displaced. A major benefit of this current policy is that it provides a clear structure and operationalising process for implementing its objectives and achieving its aims. Rather then constructing alternate mechanisms, the National Policy seeks to draw on existing agencies and resources and coordinate and integrate their efforts. It establishes an institutional framework that draws together the various relevant actors at all levels of government and promotes cooperation and a concerted approach. The Policy also both clearly and comprehensively, details and delineates the responsibilities and obligations charged to relevant stakeholders. This framework, therefore, provides a very firm basis for operationalising the National Policy. It both establishes the rights and entitlements of the internally displaced, as well as the mechanisms and the means for ensuring them. This document seeks to distil from the National Policy the main threads and processes for operationalising the policy, and to present them in a comprehensible and comprehensive manner. In a separate supplementary document an annual work plan and budget have been proposed. 3 1. Establishing an Institutional Framework The National Policy sets forward a clearly structured and coordinated institutional framework. It does not manufacture a new alternative and largely superfluous system, but rather seeks to use existing mechanisms and engage and involve appropriate institutions and stakeholders. It therefore seeks to bring together in committees the relevant actors concerned with internal displacement at all the various levels of government. a) The Inter-Ministerial Policy Committee (IMPC) comprises the Ministers of appropriate line Ministries. However, the UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator, Heads of relevant humanitarian and development agencies and representatives of the donors may be invited to participate b) The Inter-Agency Technical Committee (IATC) consists of senior officials from the appropriate ministries, as well as representatives from the UHRC, the AC, the UN, NGOs, donors and the Head of OCHA. c) The District Disaster Management Committees (DDMCs) are constituted by all relevant heads of Government Departments, humanitarian and development agencies and the private sector resident in the district. It will also include one male and one female IDP resident in one of the district camps. The CAO shall head the DDMC d) The Sub-County Disaster Management Committees (SC-DMCs) will include all relevant heads of Government Departments at the sub-county level, humanitarian and development agencies and the private sector representative resident in the sub-county. It will also include one male and one female IDP, resident in one of the sub-county camps. These committees provide an arena for integrated discussion and a coordinated response to address the effects of internal displacement. This co-operation between relevant Government institutions and development and humanitarian agencies, and at all levels of government, provides a strong and flexible basis and mechanism for operationalising the National Policy. For as well as improving coordination and cooperation between the different stakeholders, these committees are also charged with specific responsibilities and must perform many of the key functions set out in the National Policy. 2. Upholding Human Rights The Policy also establishes an institutional framework which is specifically charged with the protection of Human Rights and providing an enabling environment for upholding the rights, security and entitlements of IDPs. Again these committees draw from relevant stakeholders, and seek to provide an appropriate and integrated arena for tackling issues concerned with human rights and security. 4 a) The Human Rights Promotion and Protection Sub-Committee (HRPP-SC) will be composed of a cross section of actors from government ministries, local authorities and humanitarian and development agencies. b) The District Human Right Promotion and Protection Sub Committee (D-HRPP- SC) will be constituted by the following persons resident in a district: a representative of the religious institutions; a representative of the NGOs; representative of humanitarian and development agencies; a representative of the UHRC; the District Police Commander; a representative of the Amnesty Commission; the Secretary of the DDMC These committees will fulfil certain functions at their appropriate levels. These will include: monitoring the protection of the human rights of IDPs; acting as a focal point to complaints and criticisms of the policy and its implementation; promoting and protecting the IDPs human rights; supporting individuals whose human rights have been violated; and reporting on the implementation of this policy. The DDMC’s, along with the D-HRPP-SC, also have a significant role to play in protecting the security and the rights of IDPs. These responsibilities include: Ensuring the security of IDPs and their property Ensuring freedom of movement in and out of camps Ensuring that there is no illegal forced displacement Ensuring that all returns and resettlements are voluntary and without any coercion. Ensuring that IDPs are issued with all necessary documents to enable them to exercise their rights Ensuring that IDPs are not deprived of property or any interest in or right over property except as provided for in Article 26(2) of the Constitution Ensuring that families which are separated by displacement are reunited as quickly as possible 3. Developing Sectoral Programmes One of the pivotal tasks is to develop sectoral programmes for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of social and economic infrastructure and to support sustainable livelihoods projects. These will address several of the major challenges that are confronting IDPs at all the different phases of displacement, from the IDP camps themselves to areas of return and resettlement. This will not only satisfy the needs of the IDPs themselves, but also contribute to the general development and recovery of the areas in which they live. The key areas covered will be: a) Shelter b) Social Infrastructure (such as schools and health facilities) c) Water and Sanitation 5 d) Transport Infrastructure e) Sustainable livelihoods However these programmes will not be separately constructed and divorced from the main course of national development. Instead the appropriate line ministry will articulate its own programme towards IDPs and the North as part of its sectoral strategies. While resource mobilization has initially to follow the budgetary process set by the Government, there must be particular flexibility due to the unique challenges posed within the Northern and North Eastern region. Due to the extent of disruption in some of the districts, the ministries may require special short term funding and assistance in tailoring the implementation mechanisms to the individual situation. In many cases PEAP provides appropriate means of support, particularly under its third pillar on ‘Strengthening Security, Conflict Resolution and Disaster Management’. In developing these sectoral plans, it will be important to involve as wide a number of stakeholders as possible. While ultimate responsibility will rest with the relevant line ministry, a useful part can be played by the humanitarian and development community. UN agencies, such as UNDP, WFP, UNICEF and FAO, as well as large numbers of NGOs already have programmes underway in the various sectors. It is important to ensure that efforts are not replicated and that a level of coordination is attained, an objective that will be facilitated by the highly integrated institutional framework. As well as consulting with humanitarian and development agencies, these sectoral plans will also involve a large degree of local participation. By involving IDPs in the articulation and the satisfaction of their needs, programmes will be better suited and better tailored to the situation on the ground. The needs of the different districts are not identical, and they face particular challenges distinct from the rest of the northern region and the country as a whole. There will also be significant efforts to engage and address the needs of particularly vulnerable groups with the IDPs, such as orphans, the disabled, those with HIV/AIDS and female headed households. 4. Advocacy and Public Information A large number of people are intimately or indirectly concerned with the treatment of IDPs. Policy makers in Kampala, as well as officials at district, sub-county and Camp level, are involved in the situation of the IDPs and in the structures set out in the National Policy. It is therefore highly important to educate these people in the measures that the Policy advocates and enhance their understanding of the process. It is particularly important that all appropriate stakeholders properly understand their own roles and responsibilities towards protecting and upholding the rights of IDPs. For example the actions of the UPDF has a very immediate and important effect on the situation of the IDPs, and within the National Policy it has been charged with various tasks such as protecting sites of IDP settlement and mapping mines and unexploded ordinances. It is therefore important that all levels of the army, from central command to the individual soldiers, are aware of the rights and entitlements of the IDPs, and the responsibility that they owe them. 6 Therefore one of the functions of the OPM and of the DDMCs will be to implement an effective sensitisation and awareness enhancement campaign. Seminars and workshops will be held at different stages, ranging from the National level, down through the District and Sub-County level to individual IDP Camps. The Launch of the National Policy in Kampala, was one such opportunity to gather a wide number of stakeholders and seek to inform and sensitise them to the measures included in the Policy. As the launch illustrated, these events also provide an excellent opportunity for those present to share their experience, information and concerns. 5. Publicising the National Policy for IDPs As well as sensitising and educating policy makers and implementers on the processes involved in the National Policy, there is also a great need to publicise the policy to the general public. This should encompass not just IDPs themselves, but also host communities, as well as the wider districts, region and country as a whole. This will involve the efforts of the OPM-DDPR, the DDMCs, as well as the Ministry of Information. An important step in this effort will be the translation of the IDP policy into a number of local languages such as Luo, Runyakitara, Luganda, Swahili and Ateso. Copies of these translations can then be widely distributed in the appropriate area. There is also the opportunity to spread the contents of the National Policy through a wide range of different media formats. These can include initiatives such as talk shows, radio broadcasts, newspaper articles and supplements, as well as posters and pamphlets. 6. Preparing National, Regional, District and Sector Plans In addressing the needs arising from displacement it is important to recognise that there are many different appropriate sites of activity – national, regional, district and sectoral. The particular focus depends on the specific needs of the issue. Hence while there are certain issues which are appropriate on a national level - such as establishing grain reserves and constructing Early Warning Mechanisms, others are best handled on a more local level. In particular, while the North has often been a unit of analysis, it is important to recognise that the needs of the various districts in the North are not identical and that they face unique challenges and require specific help. This is why plans will be developed at the district level for the emergency rehabilitation and reconstruction of social and economic infrastructure damaged by conflict. This will enable programmes to be tailored to suit the needs at a district level, enabling a greater degree of effectiveness and flexibility. Plans will also be made to develop sustainable livelihoods for IDPs, Reporters and Host communities. Again great care will be made to address the needs of the different districts and of the particular needs of the different target groups. Also due to the nature of the 7 process a wide range of actors will be utilised with primary responsibility going to the OPM, Line Ministries and Agencies, DDMCs and the Secretariat of the 3rd Pillar of PEAP. 7. Mines and Unexploded Ordinances Mines and unexploded ordinances (UXOs) are a tragic and lasting remnant from insecurity. They have the potential to cause loss of life and serious disability, and can seriously impede agriculture and other economic production. During the process of return and resettlement, mines and UXOs present a particular problem as IDPs return to areas which have been mined. The Framework provides for a broad selection of relevant Agencies to deal with different parts of the issue. These include stakeholders such as the UPDF, the Police, The Ministry of Health, The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, UNDP, NGOs and other national Security Agencies. Aided by a Mine Action Technical Advisor, areas of return will be mapped for mines and then cleared. Also Mine Risk Education (MRE) will be undertaken to inform IDPs of the very real risk posed by mines and UXOs. 8. Resource Mobilisation The resources needed to operationalise the National Policy will be considerable. Funds are needed for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of social and economic infrastructure, support for sustainable livelihoods and capacity building at national and district level. The first responsibility rests with government and initial efforts must be to integrate the strategic framework into the sectoral strategies and specific government programmes, or rather identify and implement inter-sectoral and cross-cutting issues. However it is important to recognize that there may be gaps in implementation, which require additional resources. The first step in establishing the resource situation will be the preparation of a Policy Implementation Strategic Plan. This shall be undertaken by the OPM through the IATC and in collaboration with UN and donor agencies, and will identify both needs and also existing resources. It will draw on the full range of relevant stakeholders and ensure an integrated and comprehensive understanding of what needs are not being met, and what resources are potentially available to meet them. Alternative funds may be accessed through: Adjustment of existing Country Programmes of each agency Resources available under government programmes The United Nations Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) Other Programmes 8 9. Monitoring and Coordination The situation of IDPs features heavily in the third pillar of Uganda’s Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP), ‘Strengthening Security, Conflict Resolution and Disaster Management’. It recognises the very serious effect that displacement has on the poverty levels of IDPs and of the areas which are affected by displacement. In order to monitor and coordinate the efforts directed at IDPs and of disasters and conflict in general, a Coordination mechanism for the 3rd Pillar has to be instituted, as well as sector working groups on: The Security Sector; The Conflict Resolution and Peace Building Sector; The Disaster Management and Special Poverty Reduction Programmes Sector. The Coordination centre for Disaster Management and Conflict Resolution is to be located within the OPM and will be intimately involved in coordinating and monitoring activities relating to IDP, in both the immediate, medium and long term. They will also strengthen disaster risk reduction efforts in order to mitigate the effects of natural and human induced disasters, including any resulting displacement. 10.Establishing Database One of the key impediments to planning the response and coordinating the national policy on IDPs is the lack of systematic and comprehensive information on IDPs and their environment. This seriously impedes analysis of the needs and the challenges that face IDPs and affects the ability to tailor appropriate responses. There is therefore a need for an accurate and versatile database on IDPs, in order to ensure that their situation and the challenges they face are significantly understand. Even more significantly, establishing an accurate database will prove highly important in planning for the voluntary return, resettlement and reintegration programme Therefore the OPM assisted by the UNDP is to set up the database and carry out appropriate field surveys together with other partners, namely the EU and USAID. This will draw on a wide range of stakeholders and will include all the 18 districts of North and North-Eastern Uganda. 11.Miscellaneous Providing blankets, clothing, NFIs to IDPs One of the immediate problems facing many IDPs is the lack of Non-food items such as blankets, clothing and cooking utensils. The OPM and DDMCS, in cooperation with the many humanitarian and development agencies, will provide appropriate supplies. These will be undertaken at all stages of displacement, especially at the Camps, but also during the return, resettlement and reintegration process. 9 Graduated Tax Exemption for IDPs Under the National Policy IDPs are exempt from paying graduated tax, except where it is proved after an assessment by a Tax Assessment Committee that an IDP has sufficient means of income to pay graduated tax. This will require close cooperation between the OPM-DDPR and relevant tax offices, and include the sensitisation of tax authorities and IDPs on the National IDP policy in regard to tax exemption Environmental Conservation The displacement process has had a devastating effect on environmental conditions around IDP Camps. IDP camp communities rely heavily on the surrounding forest and vegetation cover for fuel wood, and on the land surrounding the camps to support their livelihoods. This has led to land exhaustion, destruction of vegetation cover, pollution of the environment with human wastes and contamination of surface waters. The situation has been made worse by bush and forest clearing for security reasons. There is therefore a need for IDPs and their hosts to be educated on environmental conservation and natural resource management and use. This will require concerted efforts from the Ministry of Lands, Water and Environment, the Ministry of Agricultural, Animal Industries, Fisheries, local governments, UN Agencies, such as the UNDP, WFP, FAO and NGOs. It will involve the implementation of various environmental projects on areas such as forestry, soil and water conservation, environmental protection and Energy Saving Devices. Coordination, Monitoring and Supervising The OPM-DDPR, has been charged with the general mandate of coordination, monitoring and supervision of the operationalisation of the National Policy for IDPs. One of its tasks will be to draw up Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) to be signed by all NGOs wishing to provide humanitarian assistance to IDPs.
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