- December 11, 2019
- Posted by: hrdcoalitionAdmin
- Category: News Updates
Kampala – December 6th, 2019) We the undersigned Human Rights Defenders gathered here today at Hotel Africana to commemorate the International Human Rights Defenders Day 2019 under the theme: “StandUp for Human Rights: Situating synergies toward protection of Human Rights Defenders”,-organized by The National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders Uganda (NCHD-U), United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, Democratic Governance Facility, Defenders Protection Initiative, The Human Rights Centre;
RECOGNISE the legitimate work of human rights defenders in advancing and fulfilment of the purpose and principles of the universality of rights;
Cognizant that non-for-profit entities are equal partners in development;
And now, having convened at Hotel Africana, Kampala-Uganda on 6th December 2019 for the commemoration of International Human Rights Defenders Day 2019, to join the rest of the World to recognize international Day for HRDs and raise awareness about the Human Rights Defenders Day, as part of a series of activities that are followed during the International Human Rights week across the globe.
RECOGNISE that freedom of expression is not a non-derogable right;
COMMEND Government for passing the Human Rights Enforcement Act (2019), an Act to give effect to article 50 (4) of the Constitution by providing for the procedure of enforcing human rights under Chapter Four of the Constitution; and for related matters;
COMMEND Government of Uganda for coming up with the Human Rights Checklist to mainstream the Rights Based Approach (RBA);
COMMEND the Government of Uganda for coming up with the Inter-Ministerial Human Rights Committee to further monitor the implementation of human rights in the country;
COMMEND Government for establishing Human Rights Desks in prisons, Defense etc.
HOWEVER WE ARE;
CONCERNED of the increasing presumption against fundamental rights and freedoms with the obsession of control;
CONCERNED with the trends towards the neo-liberal capture of the State where the State now listens more to the capitalists (businesses) and champion economic interests more important than protection of human rights making human rights subservient to economic interests;
CONCERNED with the emergence of some restrictive laws that stifle the operations of not-for-profit entities;
CONCERNED by the increasing corruption that contributes and catalyze the abuse of rights in the country;
CONCERNED by limited awareness of human rights frameworks at the grass root level;
CONCERNED by the unending NGO office break-ins and the lack of a comprehensive report to-date from the police on the NGO office break-ins;
CONCERNED by the increasing physical and non-physical electoral violence meted on HRDs during election period;
CONCERNED by the increasing threats and attacks to HRDs who are advocating against forceful land evictions and illegal acquisition of mining leases in Karamoja region;
CONCERNED by the limited civic education that has contributed to high levels of intolerance leading into electoral violence in the country;
COMMEND the media for their support in publicizing the various atrocious human rights violations and abuses taking place in the country.
We thus CALL upon the Government of Uganda to:
- To make media relations as part of the police training curriculum;
- To expedite the passing of the Civic Education Policy that is coherent and provide for sustained civic education.
We Call on Parliament:
- Consider passing a law the will recognize and protect Human Rights Defenders;
We Call to Civil Society Organizations to:
- Create synergies toward protection of human rights defenders by defining a clear advocacy agenda;
- Be pro-active as opposed to being re-active especially in shaping the legal frameworks;
Dated: December 06, 2019 at Hotel Africana
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