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Retain UHRC â€" donors

By Vision Reporter

Added 26th September 2003 03:00 AM

Major donors to the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) have opposed a proposal by the Cabinet to close it

Major donors to the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) have opposed a proposal by the Cabinet to close it

By Richard Mutumba

Major donors to the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) have opposed a proposal by the Cabinet to close it.

Officials of the Danish International Develo-pment Agency (DANIDA) told The New Vision on Wednesday that the UHRC had done a lot to ensure human rights respect.

“It would be sad for government to abolish an organisation which has done a lot to improve the respect and protection of human rights in this country,” Thomas Djurhuus, the Danish deputy ambassador, said.

In its proposals to the Constitutional Review Commission on Tuesday, Cabinet recommended the scrapping of UHRC and that its functions be transferred to the Inspectorate of Government.

Djurhuus said DANIDA contributes US$1m (about sh2b) annually to the UHRC donor basket fund for capacity building and establishing regional offices.
He said the Danish government was interested in continuing to co-operate with the Commission in to promote human rights.

The Swedish ambassador, Erik Aberg, also said UHRC was a vital institution in the monitoring, promotion and protection of human rights in Uganda, adding that it would be sad to abandon the task. “We appreciate the role of this Commission,” he said.

UHRC secretary S. Wangor said donors contributed nearly the same amount to the Commission as the Government.
Currently, UHRC receives an annual budget allocation of sh2.5bn from the Government.

The Swedish International Development Agency paid the US$1m (about sh2b) for the purchase of the plots of land on which the Commission is housed. The plots are located on Buganda Road in Kampala.

He said the same agency was planning to erect a sh800m three-storey building for the UHRC, but the project was blocked by Kampala City Council.

Retain UHRC – donors

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