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Defending Human Rights Defenders


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Job Title: Programme Officer - Monitoring and Evaluation
Department: Programmes
Reports To:
Head Programmes

Organisational Background:

The Human Rights Centre Uganda (HRCU) is a non-profit, non-partisan and non-governmental organisation that was established in November 2008 with the main aim of contributing to the protection and promotion of the rights of human rights defenders in Uganda. It works towards improving the environment in which human rights defenders operate in Uganda. The Centre carries out its mandate throughout Uganda through regional networks and coalitions. From the time of its formation, the Centre has had steady growth and registered success read more...

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Kenya must act to ensure peaceful elections, UN experts say on eve of poll

GENEVA (7 August 2017) – The Government of Kenya should urge all parties to maintain the highest standards of behaviour before, during and after Tuesday’s elections to avoid a repeat of the 2007 violence, three United Nations rights experts have urged. 

“We call on the Kenyan authorities to do their utmost to ensure peaceful elections, as well as a free and fair voting process tomorrow,” said the Special Rapporteurs on freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Annalisa Ciampi, on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst, and on summary executions, Agnes Callamard. 

“Respect for people’s fundamental rights and freedoms - including the right to vote , read more...

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Project/Programme Title: Promote Awareness and Understanding of Human Rights

Duration:1 November, 2014 till: 31st October, 2017

Country: Uganda

 Austrian Development Cooperation Project/Programme Number:2755-00/2014

Name of Partner Organisation: Human Rights Centre Uganda (HRCU)

1.    Introduction/Background

The Uganda Parliament debates and enacts numerous laws, however on several occasions, the content of these laws is not publicized, or disseminated sufficiently to all stakeholders including those that are meant to interpret, implement and enforce these laws. Enactment of read more...

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The sixth Annual Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) in Uganda


The general overview of this sixth Annual Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) in Uganda

The Human Rights Centre Uganda is pleased to launch its sixth annual report on the working environment of human rights defenders in Uganda for the period of 2016 titled; “HRDs Striving for a Better Environment for the Protection and Promotion of their Rights.” This report provides an analysis on the operating environment as well as perspectives of HRDs on the extent to which their rights are promoted and protected. The report further provides information on the effectiveness of human rights defenders work in Uganda and recommendations on how to read more...

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HRDs' Annual Forum

Under the theme “Harnessing Grassroots and National Strength: Empowering Human Rights Defenders for Better Human Rights Protection and Advocacy in Uganda” the Human Rights Centre Uganda organized its fifth Human Rights Defenders Annual Forum from 22nd -24th March 2017 at Silver Springs Hotel.

The overall objective of this forum is to enhance cooperation amongst Human Rights Defenders and establish effective strategies in addressing the current issues embedded in the working environment of human rights defenders in Uganda. Atleast 150 participants are in attendance, drawn from civil society organisations all over Uganda, Government, Development Partners and the Media.

The forum will provide

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Human Rights Defenders - News

 NGO and National Human Rights Institutions Information from the United Nations Human Rights Council

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) can be accredited to participate in the Human Rights Council’s sessions as Observers. They can address the Council during interactive discussions and debates thus highlighting human rights situations around the globe.

In order for an NHRI to attain “A” status, it must perform its responsibilities in accordance with the Paris Principles and the Global Alliance of Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) Statute. Accreditation of “A” status is done by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights read more...

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Today on the 9th December 2015, the Human Rights Centre Uganda (HRCU), the African Great Lakes Human Rights Defenders Protection Fund (The Fund), National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (NCHRDs) and other civil society organisations join the rest of the world to commemorate the International Human Rights Defenders Day with a call for increased support and respect for human rights defenders.

In 1998, the UN General Assembly adopted the landmark Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. The adoption of the Declaration was a critical point in human rights history because it was recognised in international law as the extreme importance and legitimacy of human rights activity, and the need to protect human read more...

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GENEVA (22 October 2015)

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Thursday strongly criticized the detention of migrants and refugees who have arrived in the Czech Republic since August 2015, drawing particular attention to the violations of the rights of the children among them.

Over the last two months, several European countries of transit have been employing restrictive policies against migrants and refugees who are trying to reach European countries further north. However, the Czech Republic is unique in routinely subjecting these migrants and refugees to detention for 40 days, and reportedly sometimes even longer -- up to 90 days -- in conditions which have been described as degrading.

“According to

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Condolence Message on the Death of General Aronda Nyakairima


H. E.The President of Uganda,

The family of the Late Aronda Nyakairima,

Human Rights Defenders,

The People of Uganda,

17th September, 2015





Condolence Message on the Death of General Aronda Nyakairima


The Human Rights Centre Uganda extends our deepest condolences to the family, His Excellency the President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, human rights defenders, friends and all Ugandans read more...

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L-R: Current UN Special Rapportuer on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders Michel Forst and the Former Ms. Magraret Sekaggya taking part in the #WeDefend Campaign during the consultation meeting on the model law. Photo credit goes to Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Network.

The Human Rights Centre Uganda participated in a regional consultation meeting on the law on recognition and protection of Human rights defenders. This meeting was organized by East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project in partnership with International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) on 20th May, 2015 at Munyonyo Common Wealth Resort. The Consultation meeting was attended by human rights defenders from Anglophone African region read more...

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Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) are individuals, groups or organisations who work to promote and protect human rights in a peaceful manner. They play an important role in promoting and protecting the rights and fundamental freedoms that citizens are entitled to. HRDs in Uganda have faced challenges in their work ranging from arrests, threats, attacks from state and no state actors, inadequate funding, office break ins, and restrictive legislation amongst others. It is therefore important for HRDs to meet and address prospects and challenges faced in their work.


The Human Rights Centre Uganda (HRCU) in

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Press Release:Annual National Civil Society Fair on The Theme Celebrating East African Citizenship.

Preparations are underway towards the 4th Edition of the Annual National Civil Society Fair to be held from 26th-27th June, 2014 at Hotel Africana on the theme "Celebrating East African Citizenship". The Civil Society Fair is a flagship event that has been firmly established as a major platform that brings together civil society organizations to showcase their contribution to development and dialogue on key challenges facing the country.

The civil society fair is organized jointly by civil society organizations in Uganda with the support of development partners and private sector firms. This year's CSO Fair will offer a unique avenue for ordinary citizens, researchers, read more...

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  • By: sckawooya
    Parliament’s role in promoting Constitutionalism: Constitutionalism is the idea that a government can and should be limited in its powers by a fundamental law or set of laws, beyond the reach of an individual government to amend them; whose authority depends on its observing of these limitations. The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995 as amended provides for a system of checks and balances amongst the 3 arms of government: Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. These three arms of government are each charged with specific duties. The Executive is charged with the duty to implement and maintain the Constitution and laws made under the Constitution; the Legislature is charged with the duty of formulating laws for the Country, which should be in conformity with the Constitution. Parliament is also charged with the duty to protect the Constitution and promote the democratic governance of Uganda; the Judiciary is the justice dispensing arm of government. Parliament is the legislative, elected body of government tasked with passing laws of Uganda that provide for good governance and playing the oversight role of the other arms of government. Parliament is thus the representation of the people. Parliament is principally charged with 2 roles in promoting constitutionalism. These have been enshrined in the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda; protecting the Constitution and holding the Executive accountable. Protecting the Constitution In order to appreciate this duty imposed on Parliament, Uganda’s history with regard to the constitutions had and the making of the 1995 Constitution should be noted. Benjamin J. Odoki, in his essay, “The Challenges of Constitution-making and Implementation in Uganda” he noted that the making of a new constitution in Uganda demonstrated the desire of the people to fundamentally change their system of governance into a truly democratic one. Further that the process was thus a major step towards the democratization of the country which had experienced nearly thirty years of oppression, tyranny and exploitation. The history of Uganda’s constitutionalism road is that up until 1995, Uganda had had 3 constitutions namely: 1962, 1966 and 1967 Constitutions. It should be noted that in making of these constitutions, massive consultations of the citizens was not done by the responsible authorities. They had simply been enacted, and handed down to be implemented. It could thus be argued that the views of the people had not been reflected in the Constitutions. Thus, in 1988, the Uganda Constitution Commission was established and it spearheaded the task of making the Constitution that was promulgated in 1995 by the Constituent assembly. The making of the Constitution was distinctly characterized by popular participation by the people which was achieved through wide consultation and national public debate. The Constitution under Article 79 lays down the functions of Parliament which are to make laws and protect the constitution and promote democratic governance of Uganda. The duty of protecting the constitution would among others include preserving the spirit of the constitution that way it is not amended or altered veering off the purpose of the people. Since 1995, the constitution has been amended a number of times; including September and December 2005. The amendments have among others been for the creation of new districts, new offices, creation of special courts to handle offences relating to corruption, remove the limits on the tenure of office of the President. The role of parliament in protecting the constitution must be to vote either for or against an amendment of the constitution whilst being mindful of the Uganda’s history. Parliament should also be mindful of the fact that the constitution that was promulgated in 1995 was one that reflected the views of the people who had lived through the oppression and tyranny that characterizes our past as a nation. Parliament is further urged to not only look at the present and past but also the future. Ideally, the test should be that if an amendment years down the road can easily lead to oppression or tyranny stands to be exploited to the detriment of Uganda and her citizens, that amendment should not be allowed. As earlier noted, Constitutionalism is about ensuring that governance is done in accordance with the law and not the whim of the government of the day. Similarly, the constitution should not be easily and frequently amended to suit the needs of the government of the day. And this is what in principle the duty of protecting the constitution is all about. Holding the Executive accountable As noted earlier, each arm of government has certain controls over the other 2 arms. For Parliament, it principally has the duty of holding the Executive or the state accountable for all decisions that it makes as well as its actions. This is provided for under the national objective I which makes it clear that the President has to report to Parliament and the nation all steps taken to ensure the realization of the national objectives and directive principles of state policy. The goal of holding the Executive accountable is such that there is difficulty in the State abusing the power that it is given by law. Parliament, in fulfilling this duty has held weekly plenary sessions in which the Prime Minister is tasked to explain state actions of lack thereof on issues, and through the parliamentary committee sessions, has held the state accountable. The expectation for the 10th Parliament is that it does not take the trend of the 9th Parliament, which during its first year was seen to be assertive and its actions promoting constitutionalism and over the course of time became less active with the fire unfortunately dying out. Members of Parliament should at all times be mindful of Parliament’s role in promoting constitutionalism and in all decisions have them at the forefront as they are the key in protecting Uganda from ever experiencing the past that we have worked so hard to distance ourselves from.

  • By: jose
    UN expert hails role of equality bodies and action plans in combating racism: NEW YORK / GENEVA (2 November 2016) – States should maximize the use of specialized equality bodies and national action plans to tackle racism and xenophobia, a United Nations human rights expert has said. Using these tools was key to identifying the causes and shaping new policies, said the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Mutuma Ruteere. “National specialized bodies and national action plans address the root causes of discrimination in areas such as employment, housing, education, the justice system, law enforcement and access to different goods and services,” Mr. Ruteree said, presenting a report* to the UN General Assembly. “They also drive change in State and private organizations Read the Special Rapporteur’s report:

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