Uganda: Common-law relationships: the fate of the children in the event of the father's death; custody order and who establishes the criteria for awarding custody; process and usual result; what is the process for children belonging to Sabiny tribe when the mother is from another tribe (Ganda)
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||2 April 2001|
|Citation / Document Symbol||UGA36847.E|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Uganda: Common-law relationships: the fate of the children in the event of the father's death; custody order and who establishes the criteria for awarding custody; process and usual result; what is the process for children belonging to Sabiny tribe when the mother is from another tribe (Ganda) , 2 April 2001, UGA36847.E , available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3df4beba28.html [accessed 23 May 2017]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
According to Article 31 (5) of the 1995 Constitution of Uganda, "children may not be separated from their families or the persons entitled to bring them up against the will of their families or of those persons, except in accordance with the law" (49). Article 34 (1), adds that "subject to the laws enacted in their best interests, children shall have the right to know and be cared for by their parents or those entitled by law to bring them up" (30).
Country Reports 2000 states that although the law prohibits discrimination based on gender, race, religion and ethnicity,
the Government does not enforce the law effectively in matters of locally or culturally accepted discrimination against women, children, people with disabilities, or certain ethnic groups ...
The Government continued trying to implement the Children's Statute, which provides extensive protection for families and children; however, implementation proved exceedingly difficult due to manpower and judicial constraints, and in reality, little was done to enforce the statute's provisions ... Many customary laws discriminate against women in the areas of adoption, marriage, divorce, and inheritance. In most areas, women may not own or inherit property, nor retain custody of their children under local customary law ... The Government has not yet implemented effectively the 1996 Children's Statute, which outlines broad protections for children. Government efforts to enforce the statute's provisions were hampered by the large proportion of the population that is below 18, manpower and fiscal constraints on the judiciary, and cultural norms. The law stipulates parents' responsibilities and provides extensive protection for children in a wide variety of areas, including financial support, foster care placement, adoption, determination of parentage, and treatment of children charged with offenses (2001).
The New Vision of 12 January 1998 cautions that "regarding the law and women, Uganda has a dual legal system: the formal law and customary law. Each social group and religion has its laws or rules."
A report posted on the Child News Line Website states that "traditional family law in Uganda held that a man's brothers inherited his property, but it also dictated that the deceased's widow and orphans would become wards of those brothers and be cared for by them ( Nov. 1997)." However, due to the AIDS epidemic, there has been a breakdown of this community system and those supposed to take care of the widow and the orphans reportedly renege on their responsibility (ibid.).
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2000. 2001. United States Department of State. Washington, DC.
Child Newsline. November 1997. Elaine Eliah. "Five Children to Support, and a Long Walk to School."
New Vision [Kampala]. 12 January 1998. "More Discussion Needed." (NEXIS)
Ruchti, Jefri J. March 1996. "Uganda." Constitutions of the Countries of the World. Edited by Gisbert H. Flanz. Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.: Oceana Publications.
Additional Sources Consulted
Africa Research Bulletin
The Indian Ocean Newsletter
Keesing's Recorder of World Events
IRB Databases. LEXIS/NEXIS
Resource Centre. Country File. Uganda.
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