today's Pick
Rights activists seek audience on human rights laws
Publish Date: Jan 12, 2014
Rights activists seek audience on human rights laws
Mohammed Ndifuna
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Cecilia Okoth

HUMAN rights activists have asked parliament to consult human rights agencies and the general public before passing legislations that impinge on fundamental human rights and freedoms.

According to the activists, such bills include the National Biotechnology and Biosafety bill, Public Order Management Act 2013 and archaic draconian legislations.

“The Uganda Human Rights Commission, Equal Opportunities and human rights organizations and the general public should be consulted before the bills are passed into law,” said Mohammed Ndifuna, the Human Rights Network-Uganda Executive Director

Ndifuna was raising human rights concerns for the New Year, during a press conference at their offices in Kampala last week (Thursday).

He added, “We are concerned about the continued violations of human rights in Uganda at the outset of 2014.”  

Ndifuna said 2013 witnessed progressive and prohibitive incidents in the rights discourse violations which he noted needed urgent interventions to ensure they do not continue in 2014.

In the National Biotechnology and Biosafety bill, Ndifuna explained that though envisaged as a solution to food insecurity in Uganda, does not cater for the adequate participation of Ugandans in decision making concerning the development, transportation or importation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

“It has no provisions relating to labelling of GMO products so that Ugandans are able to know and choose whether they want to consume GMOs or organic products,” Ndifuna said.

He also noted that given that the goal of GMO technology is to create novel organisms, many of the risks associated will be difficult to anticipate with any degree of precision. “It is therefore important to acknowledge uncertainty and deal with it using precautionary principles under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the convention of biosafety to which Uganda is party to,” He said.  

On the Public Order Management Act 2013 Ndifuna said in its current form cannot be an enabling piece of legislation as Uganda strives to achieve its democratization aspirations of liberty, equality rule of law and constitutionalism.

“The act is being enforced by police to prohibit public assemblies hence violating the constitutional right peaceful public assemblies as envisaged by article 29 of the constitution of Uganda,” He said.

Ndifuna also called for the reviewing and amending the laws that are inconsistent with the constitution like the Penal Code Act and the Criminal Procedure Code Act.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Busia district chairman kicked out of office
The Minister of Local Government, Adolf Mwesige, has ordered the embattled Busia district chairman, Adea Ouma, out of office....
Health workers death toll mounts in W.Africa as Ebola spreads
Nigeria's health minister will hold an emergency meeting of state health commissioners on Monday as West Africa struggles to halt the deadly Ebola virus, amid growing concern at the toll among healthcare workers...
Nuns go public for first time in 150 years
A group of Ecuadoran nuns opened the doors of their convent to the outside world Saturday - a first since the order arrived in the South American country 150 years ago....
New test fast-tracks diagnosis for malaria
A new invention can cheaply and accurately diagnose malaria infection in just a few minutes using only a droplet of blood....
Fears for Lesotho
The attempted assassination of a top military commander plunged Lesotho into further turmoil Sunday, following an apparent coup that forced the prime minister to flee to neighbouring South Africa....
Large explosion, gunfire at Somalia
Suspected Shebab militants attacked Somalia's intelligence headquarters and detention facility in central Mogadishu on Sunday, setting off a bomb and opening fire on the complex, police and witnesses said...
Do you think banning the sale of single cigarette sticks will help regulate tobacco production?
yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter