MEASURES AGAINST COVID-19 ARE COMMENDABLE, BUT SHOULD NOT BE IMPLEMENTED AT THE EXPENSE OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF VULNERABLE AND MARGINALISED PERSONS
In response to the COVID-19 threat, the President of Uganda announced a series of measures with a view of curbing the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Among these measures are the mandatory quarantining of travellers to Uganda, closure of schools and bars, banning of social events with more than ten persons, then the closing of all Uganda's borders, discouraging public transportation, and most recently, completely banning the sale of non-food items in markets, banning the use of public transportation (boda bodas, taxis and buses) and restricting all private vehicles to carrying three persons at a time. These measures have been given the force of law through a number of statutory instruments made under the Public Health Act by the Minister of Health. The Chief Justice also announced measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including limiting courts to handling only urgent cases, taking pleas for ‘serious cases' and bail applications for a period 32 days from the 19th of March 2020.
Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) applauds the government, particularly the President, the Ministry of Health and the Judiciary for the proactive and timely measures taken to protect the lives and health of the people of Uganda. These are much-needed steps to take in the battle against the spreading pandemic. We urge all persons to respect the measures put in place by the government to stop the spread of COVID-19. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON THIS DOCUMENT