ILAW files applications to appear as amicus curiae before Ugandan Constitutional Court

On September 7, 2023, the ILAW Network filed applications to appear as amicus curiae in two cases before the Constitutional Court of Uganda involving the rights of workers in the informal economy. The ILAW Network filed the applications jointly with prominent organizations and individual experts on international law and worker rights: the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa, the International Commission of Jurists, Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA), Streetnet International, Women in Informal Employment Organizing and Globalizing (WIEGO), Ms. Aminta Ossom, Lecturer on Law at Harvard University and Dr. Andrew Gilbert Were of Makerere University.

The Ugandan Constitutional Court is currently considering Petitions No. 24 and No. 25 of 2022. Voices for Labour, Platform for Vendors in Uganda (PLAVU), Uganda Market and Allied Employees Union and Uganda Artisans and General Workers Union filed these two cases in September 2022. The first case challenges the exclusion of workers in the informal economy from coverage under labour legislation in Uganda. While the Ugandan Constitution guarantees the rights to freedom of association, to equality and non-discrimination and safe, satisfactory and healthy working conditions to everyone, labour legislation only applies to “employees.” The second case challenges the forcible eviction of street vendors from Kampala City in January 2022, and the underlying legal framework governing street vending in Kampala. The pleadings in those cases are available here.

As part of the amicus curiae application, amici included draft briefs in both cases. These drafts detail the current status of the rights of informal workers under international human rights law, international labour law, and African regional human rights law, as well as identifying examples from comparative national jurisprudence and practice.

The draft brief in Petition No. 24, on the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining; equality and non-discrimination; safe, healthy and satisfactory working conditions; and remedy is available here.

The draft brief in Petition No. 25, on the rights to work; property; non-discrimination and equality; personal security and freedom from arbitrary deprivations of liberty; and dignity is available here.