Victim Assistance

Last updated: 21 October 2018

Victim assistance action points

  • Improve the sustainability, quality, and availability of prosthesis and rehabilitation services, including by enhancing coordination and dedicating the necessary national resources.
  • Eliminate barriers to access, including to health and livelihoods, for survivors and other persons with disabilities.
  • Closely consult with local survivor organizations in decision making processes.

Victim assistance planning and coordination

Government focal point

The Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development (MGLSD)

Coordination mechanisms

None for victim assistance

Coordination regularity/frequency and outcomes/effectiveness

No victim assistance meetings were held
The Intersectoral Committee on Disability, which planned to meet quarterly, restarted meetings in 2017


None, the 2006 national disability policy was due for a planned review since 2015

Disability sector integration

The MGLSD is also responsible for disability planning and projects

Survivor inclusion and participation

Survivors participated in specific public events and at the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Reporting (Article 7 and statements)

Uganda has not submitted a Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report since 2012; its last Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report (for 2011) did not provide information on victim assistance.[1] Uganda last made a statement on victim assistance at the Mine Ban Treaty Fifteenth Meeting of States Parties in Santiago in November 2016[2]


International commitments and obligations

Uganda is responsible for a significant number of landmine survivors, cluster munitions victims, and survivors of other explosive remnants of war (ERW) who are in need

Mine Ban Treaty


Convention on Cluster Munitions


Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)



Laws and policies

No significant changes to legislation or the implementation of laws and policies were reported in 2017.

Major Developments in 2017–2018

In October 2018, the Republic of Uganda held a national meeting with over 50 disability and victim assistance experts, representatives of relevant ministries, and landmine survivors’ and persons with disabilities’ organizations. The meeting was held with the support of the Mine Ban Treaty Implementation Support Unit, and funded by the European Union, with the aim of initiating the process of revising the national disability policy with a victim assistance inclusive perspective.

Needs assessment

No assessments of the needs of survivors were reported. Data on mine/ERW survivors was not disaggregated among data on other persons with disabilities. However, a data collection tool developed by the MGLSD and Ministry of Health was available and could be updated for use in survey.

In mid-2018, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), in consultation with the MGLSD, began undertaking the Uganda Functional Disability Survey based on the Washington Group Questions on Disability.[3] Data collection on persons with disabilities remained a challenge. The 2014 national census, released by the UBOS in 2016, found that the disability prevalence rate was about 12%.[4]

Medical care and rehabilitation

No improvements were reported and the health and rehabilitation systems remained under-funded and inaccessible due to costs and distances to reach facilities. Quality healthcare remained unaffordable and inaccessible to survivors in many regions, and particularly in remote and rural areas where private health centers were not profitable and limited NGO funding for health services and essential transportation to medical facilities had significantly declined in the period 2014–2017.At times when the health budget cycle meant that the allocated budget was fully spent, stores of medicines were not available.[5]

Overall the 10 Ministry of Health monitored referral rehabilitation centers were inadequately supplied and poorly functioning. The distribution of materials for manufacturing prosthesis and mobility devices though the state system was not adequately reaching all those in need and prostheses were not affordable for the majority of persons with disabilities. It was reported that the state was not providing funding for rehabilitation centers, which are key providers of mobility devices. The Ministry of Health placed disability services under the category of an unfunded priority. Therefore, rehabilitation centers relied on NGO support and international contributions. A change would require attention to the issue by the finance ministry and the allocation of a dedicated rehabilitation budget.[6]

Socio-economic and psychosocial inclusion

No improvements in psychosocial assistance including peer support were reported. The Ugandan Landmine Survivors’ Association (ULSA) implemented livelihood and income-generation activities with the remaining AAR Japan support.[7] A number of survivor groups create and sell regionally specific crafts to generate income based on incentive programs established many years ago. A teacher-training module on disabilities was intruded to the professional education system in 2018.[8]


Uganda is receiving and hosting many refugees who are mine survivors, and thus required additional resources to meet their needs.[9] Humanity and Inclusion (HI, formerly Handicap International) relaunched programs in 2017 and worked with refugees with disabilities, most of whom have fled the conflict in South Sudan.[10]

Victim assistance providers and activities

Name of organization

Type of activity



Grants and cash transfers for persons with disabilities; data collection; training on psychosocial support

Ministry of Health

Medical care; community-based rehabilitation (CBR); officially responsible for 10 orthopedic workshops

Mulago National Referral Hospital orthopedic workshop

Prosthetics and orthotics

Arua Regional Referral Hospital orthopedic center

Physical rehabilitation in West Nile region (northwestern Uganda)

Fort Portal Hospital/Buhinga Orthopedic Workshop

Prosthetics services not functioning, but based in Kabarole district, western Uganda. Fort Portal is the referral hospital for the districts of Bundibugyo, Kabarole, Kamwenge, Kasese, Ntoroko, and Kyenjojo

Gulu Regional Orthopedic Workshop (GROW)/Gulu Referral Hospital

Prosthetics and orthotics physical rehabilitation for conflict victims and main rehabilitation center for mine/ERW survivors supported by AVSI through the Trust Fund for Victims

Lira Regional Rehabilitation Hospital

Minor repairs to prosthesis in northern region

National NGO

Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services in Uganda (CoRSU)

Physical rehabilitation services, CBR; private user-pays prosthetics services for adult amputees

Local landmine survivors organizations:
Apac Landmine Survivors Association
Amuru Landmine Survivors Association
Gulu Landmine Survivors Group
Kitgum Landmine Survivors Association
Lira Landmine Survivors Association
Oyam Landmine Survivors Association
Pader Landmine Survivors Group
Agago Landmine Survivors Association
Yumbe Landmine Survivors Association/Yumbe United Amputee Association

Variously: peer support and advocacy; income-generation activities: vocational training and socio-economic projects; housing support

Kasese Landmine Survivors Association (KALSA)

Peer support and advocacy; income-generation activities


Economic inclusion; access physical rehabilitation; advocacy—not active in 2018

Ave Maria Vocational Training Center

Vocational training


Vocational training

International organization/NGO


Physical rehabilitation through GROW


Income-generating projects

Humanity and Inclusion (HI)

Identifies vulnerable persons with disabilities among refugees entering Uganda; facilitates access to humanitarian services and aid; psychosocial support; rehabilitation care; mobility aids for refugees; and financial assistance to refugee families


[2] Statement of Uganda, Mine Ban Treaty Fifteenth Meeting of States Parties, Santiago, 30 November 2016.

[3] Interview with Beatrice Kaggya, Commissioner for Disability and Elderly, MGLSD, 2 August 2017; and presentation by Beatrice Kaggya, Uganda National Victim Assistance Dialogue, Kampala, 11 October 2018.

[4] Uganda Bureau of Statistics 2016, “The National Population and Housing Census 2014 – Main Report,” Kampala, Uganda, 24 March 2016.

[5] Notes from Monitor Field Mission July–August 2017, and visit in October 2018.

[6] Observations from Monitor Field Mission July–August 2017, and from a visit in October 2018; National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU), “Alternative Report to the UN Committee of Experts on the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD),” December 2014, paras. 64–65.

[7] Interview with Margaret Arach Orech, ULSA, in Geneva, 31 August 2017.

[8] Observations from Monitor Field Mission July–August 2017, and visit October 2018.

[9] Statement of Uganda, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 9 June 2017.

[10] HI, “Uganda,” undated.