The Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Gulu district in partnership with the United Nations Human Rights Council and other human rights bodies are preparing to commemorate the 70th Human Rights Day slated for the December 10, in Gulu town. The Day will be marked under the theme, “Stand up for Human Rights”.
Addressing Journalists at Northern Uganda Media Club “NUMEC), Nicolas Ogwang, the regional manager Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC)-Gulu, said that celebrating the Day is derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. He said it important to mark the Day as it enables people across the world to know their rights, become actors and work hard to ensure that rights of other people are respected.
Geoffrey Okello director NGO Forum also noted that they are taking this period for education and awareness on human rights. The Day’s celebrations in Uganda will run concurrently with 16 days of gender activism.
However, Immaculate Acayo quality assurance program manager at Gulu Women Economic Development & Globalization (GWED G ) said a lot of inequalities exist ranging from gender based violence, discrimination, denial of women’s and orphan’s rights to properties among others. She said it was high time such issues are addressed. She called concerted efforts combat human rights abuses in communities.
Chali Olawole Mongadji, from the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner said that the event is important as it strengthens the human rights law.
The preparation team is to visit the prisoners at Gulu main prison and dialogue with them on human right matter.
In Uganda, the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) is mandated to ensure that people’s rights are protected.
Article 52 (1) of the 1995 Constitution lays down the following functions of the Commission: To investigate , at its own initiative or on a complaint made by any person or group of persons against the violation of any human right, visit jails, prisons, and places of detention or related facilities with a view of assessing and inspecting conditions of the inmates and make recommendations, to establish a continuing programme of research, education and information to enhance respect of human rights.
Others are to: To recommend to Parliament effective measures to promote human rights including provision of compensation to victims of violations of human rights or their families, create and sustain within society the awareness of the provisions of this constitution as the fundamental law of the people of Uganda, educate and encourage the public to defend this Constitution at all times against all forms of abuse and violation, formulate , implement, and oversee programmes intended to inculcate in the citizens of Uganda awareness of their civic responsibilities and an appreciation of their rights and obligations as free people and monitor the Government’s compliance with intentional treaty and convention obligations on human rights.
Article 52 (2) also requires the Commission to publish periodical reports and submit annual reports to Parliament on the state of human rights and freedoms in the country.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 10, 1948 General Assembly resolution as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations.