Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) has launched an Application to ease access to information, filing complaints and location of the regional office.
The development of the App was triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic which showed the essence of digital innovation which took over all forms of communication. During the pandemic, the country recorded over 1,000 cases of human rights violations and abuses however there were no modes to file cases since President Yoweri Museveni had placed imposed restrictions on the transport sector.
Speaking at the launch in Bugolobi, Mariam Wangadya, the chairperson of UHRC, said the App is a demonstration of their forward steps in the quest to enhance the protection and promotion of human rights. The commission is alive to the fact that digitization is transforming the manner in which information is disseminated and received, allowing real-time virtual sharing of information.
“We have faith in the benefits that the UHRC APP will bring to our service delivery and to the enjoyment of human rights generally. Its real-time information exchange and engagement,” she said.
She said the Apps were pioneered largely by businesses however there are increasingly seeing how critical they are for information on human rights to enable citizens to enjoy their rights, defend and claim them when violated.
She appealed to the government to pay critical attention to other aspects that enable the enjoyment of human rights for example affordability and accessibility in rural areas of the country.
“UHRC has in place a number of digital tools in addition to other statutory government systems. These, plus social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram give the commission a wider reach,” she said.
“We are living in times when the internet has comprehensively changed the communication dynamics because information can now be shared in real-time. With the internet’s virtual reach, the hitherto barrier to information-sharing caused by physical distances is no more,” she said.
Minister of State for National Guidance Kabbyanga Godfrey Baluku said UHRC app will ease sharing of information, for example, people in Mubende can’t move and there are human rights violations going on, and with this app, they can report all these violations.
“Right now, what the people of Mubende and Kasanda need is a service like this UHRC APP since they cannot physically walk to the UHRC offices to present their human rights issues for handling,” he said.