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Uganda''s Human Rights record under scrutiny

By Vision Reporter

Added 9th October 2011 08:05 PM

JUST days before Uganda’s human rights record comes under international scrutiny, the civil society on Friday faulted government, accusing it of inaction towards economic, social and cultural (ESCR) rights among others.

By Steven Candia

JUST days before Uganda’s human rights record comes under international scrutiny, the civil society on Friday faulted government, accusing it of inaction towards economic, social and cultural (ESCR) rights among others. 


On Tuesday Uganda appears before the Human Rights Council (HRC) for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), one of the mechanisms to under which all 192 UN members are reviewed to ensure compliance with human rights. 
 
Both the government and civil society organizations have submitted reports to the committee for the periodic review and flown teams to Geneva for the review whose outcomes will be on Friday.

At a media dialogue, the civil society organizations (CSOs) said other than ratifying international instruments on ESCR in 1987, the government has done little towards the realization of the rights.
 
Economic, social and cultural rights are rights, such as the right to education, right to housing, right to adequate standard of living and the right to health, and are often considered second generation rights.
 
Reading a joint statement, Human Rights Network (HURINET)-Uganda boss, Ndifuna Mohammed, accused government of failing to submit as required an initial report to the committee on ESCR.
 
“This leaves Uganda with a back log of six reports over 25 years,” he said, adding that it is not enough for Uganda to ratify instruments and later do nothing.
 
“The UPR is a very important towards the observance of human rights and ensuring compliance by member states and we urge Ugandans to follow the review closely,” Justine Nabirye from HURINET said. 
 
The civil society organizations (CSOs) also took issue with what it termed as impunity and disrespect for rights of individuals, which it said have continued unabated.
 
“In the recent past there have been glaring incidents of human rights abuses that need to addressed,” he charged. The organizations were also concerned about the recent developments which they said go against the freedom of assembly, expression and access to information.
 
”The oil agreements are public documents and should not be kept under the table. They should be in the public domain for scrutiny,” he charged. 
 
The organizations therefore called on government to engage with stakeholders during the review process, accept the recommendations in good faith and create enable legal frame work in line with its international obligations.

Uganda''s Human Rights record under scrutiny

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