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Over the past few years, the Human Rights Center has pursued research in northern Uganda, where the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has waged a brutal war costing thousands of lives and displacing more than 1.5 million people. Several projects have sought to document the level of violence witnessed by children and their families and assess what kinds of justice mechanisms are most likely to bring peace to the area.

Working with researchers from the Payson Center for International Development at Tulane University and the International Center for Transitional Justice, as well as major partners such as the MacArthur Foundation and USAID, HRC has surveyed the attitudes and opinions of those most affected by the violence.


Transitioning to Peace: A Population-Based Survey on Attitudes About Social Reconstruction and Justice in Northern Uganda, December 2010. Read the press release. This report is the third large-scale survey conducted in this region. A total of 2,498 individuals of four districts in northern Uganda were interveiewed regarding their concerns about resettlement, their current priorities, their access to services and information, and their views on social cohesion, security, violence, peace, justice and accountability.This survey was designed to allow comparison with earlier surveys among the Acholi districts.

New Population-Based Data on Attitudes about Peace and Justice in Northern Uganda, August 2007. Read the press release. A new survey of 2,875 residents of eight districts in northern Uganda shows that as hostilities have eased and peace negotiations are underway, residents are more concerned about health and peace rather than justice, although they would like to have some form of accountability for past crimes. The full report on this study was released in October 2007: When the War Ends: A Population-Based Survey on Attitudes about Peace, Justice, and Social Reconstruction in Northern Uganda.

Abducted: The Lord’s Resistance Army and Forced Conscription in Northern Uganda, June 2007. Read the press release. This report is based on data collected from eight reception centers for returning child soldiers and youth affected by the ongoing war in northern Uganda. Key findings include the fact that the number of LRA abductions is higher than previous estimates, as many as 38,000 children and 37,000 adults; women and girls represent 24 percent of former abductees; and they tend to stay longer in captivity than boys or men. Phuong Pham, Patrick Vinck, and Eric Stover contributed to the report.

War-Affected Children and Youth in Northern Uganda: Toward a Brighter Future, May 2006. Faculty Director Eric Stover joined Erin Baines and Marieke Wierda to author this assessment report commissioned by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Government of Canada. The research team recommended improving the capacity of nongovernmental organizations in the region and inter-organizational cooperation; prioritizing services for vulnerable children and youth; integrating traditional and formal justice mechanisms and educating the population about their use; and basing organizational decisions on evidence-based data.

Forgotten Voices: A Population-Based Survey on Attitudes about Peace and Justice in Northern Uganda, July 2005. The report was based on interviews with 2,585 residents of northern Uganda in late April 2005. Among its conclusions, the report documents extremely high levels of exposure to violence, the desire for accountability on all sides, support for some form of amnesty, and generally poor understanding of traditional and formal justice mechanisms (including the ICC). Authors Phuong Pham, Patrick Vinck, Marieke Wierda, Eric Stover, and Adrian di Giovanni contributed to this report, co-published by HRC and the International Center for Transitional Justice.