The Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Gulu was formed in 1997 by Bishop Martin Luluga who established two committees in Gulu and Kitgum deaneries. The first operating office was opened in 2001 in Gulu initially with only one staff. Later, in 2004 the Kitgum office was opened and in 2005 the third office in Pader district in Kalongo. In 2008 a fourth office of JPC Gulu was established in Amuru. In 2012 another office was established in Agago district and in kitgum. The main activities of JPC in the Gulu Archdiocese include conducting community dialogue sessions, reconciliation and peace building, legal services, human rights and justice through a paralegal training and advocacy programmes and finally research and documentation in the form of a monthly newsletter.
JPC works in three thematic areas:-
a) Peace building
Under this theme, the department looks at a change in the attitude of the community members especially towards one another, to appreciate each other as being created by one GOD almighty, the aspect of co-existence peacefully through loving one another. This is done through the following approaches:
- Train students and patrons of the peace debate clubs in schools on Karl Popper debate format.
- Organize Regional debate tournament.
- Organize friendly Inter school debates.
- Carry out Exchange visits with the students and the debate-club patrons.
- Conduct dialogue meetings between parents, families and institutions on domestic violence and early marriage.
- Monitor and document incidences of Domestic violence and early marriage.
- Conduct community dialogues using SASA faith tools.
b) Human Rights and Good Governance.
Under this theme, we use alternative dispute resolution approaches to emphasize respect for humanity. We achieve this through:
- Training the religious leaders, the lower council leaders on mediation process.
- Empowering community leaders (cultural, political and religious), Parish Justice and Peace Committees (PJPCs) and role-model families to handle gender based violence and other gender issues that may come from the community.
- Creating awareness among community members on climate change issues.
- Educating Community members (boys, girls, women and men) on land tenure system as well as NLP.
- Strengthening capacities of PJPCs, clan leaders, lay apostolate and parish councils on land tenure system, NLP and alternative land dispute resolution.
- Referring of complex cases such as that of defilement to the courts of law for proper handling.
- Participating in networking meetings with likeminded partners on issues of gender, land and property rights.
- Holding community dialogues with the community groups to discuss issues of land rights.
c) Research, documentation and advocacy that cuts across above two thematic areas.
Under this theme we put emphasis on the visibility, sharing information with the local and the international partners about what we do in the Archdiocese. This is done through,
- Production of newsletters and distribution to stakeholders
- Radio talk show on the key issues identified in the quarter
- Staff Capacity building.
- Radio Programs
- Setting up network of specialists
- Training early warning team
- Land Management week
- Support towards peace week