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THE HUMAN RIGHTS CENTRE UGANDA

Defending Human Rights Defenders


VOLUNTEERING AND INTERNSHIPS

The Centre admits volunteers and interns both from Uganda and around the world. Under this programme, individuals who have a passion for human rights and have an interest in joining the Centre’s team to further the mission and vision of the organisation are given the opportunity to do so. The organisation recognises and respects diversity in its recruitment process and has given its former volunteers and interns invaluable practical experience. Previous interns and volunteers have been drawn from Uganda, USA and Ireland.

Applications can be sent by email to info@hrcug.org info@hrcug.org, hand delivered to Plot 65 Luthuli Avenue, Bugolobi, or posted to P.O Box 25638 Kampala, Uganda



Job Title: Senior Programmes Officer – Legal

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. HRCU 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 at different levels.

 Broad Function:

The officer will be responsible for the spearheading the legal aid function of HRCU. HRCU is a registered Legal Aid service Provider by the Uganda Law Council and as such is mandated to provide legal aid, referrals and representation of HRCU clients.

He/she will provide additional support when requested by the Executive Director who is the solely authorised person to speak on behalf of HRCU.

 Specific Duties and Responsibilities:

1.       Legal Research and Analysis

a.       Conducts extensive legal research and analysis and prepares studies, comparative studies, briefs, reports and correspondence.

b.      Undertakes basic or extensive review of legal documents, instruments, or other material; identifies important issues, similarities, and inconsistencies, etc.

c.       Prepares background papers, studies, reports, legislative texts and commentaries on those texts.

d.      Provides advice on different legal issues and drafts legal opinions, briefs, memoranda and other legal documents.

e.      Prepares or assists in the preparation of agreements and contracts with CSOs and other public or private entities.

f.        Reviews, advises on and drafts legal motions/submissions.

g.       Participates in investigations, truth visits, rapid response, and assesses evidence for relevance and admissibility.

h.      Prepares and assesses briefs of evidence.

i.         Provides legal advice on human resources matters; reviews administrative matters.

j.        Provides legal aid, referrals and representation to HRCU clients.

 

2.       General duties

a.       Organise and facilitate at regional dialogues, community dialogues, workshops and capacity building workshops on highlighted HR issues;

b.      Organise and participate in media campaigns that include but are not limited to radio talk shows and television debates;

c.       Create and maintain partnerships with key stakeholders;

d.      Contribute to the development of fundraising proposals and maintain strong working relationships with donors if required

e.      Represent HRCU at different for a as may be assigned from time to time.

 

3.       Other duties

a.       Undertake other duties as reasonably assigned by the Head of Programmes or Executive Director from time to time.

 Skills and Competencies

a.       Bachelors’ degree in law or equivalent;

b.      Possession of a Masters’ degree will be an added advantage

c.       Possession of a post graduate degree in Legal Practice and general experience in legal practice

d.      Must be an advocate of the High Court, Possession of a practicing certificate is an added advantage

e.      Knowledge of, and ability to apply, legal principles, concepts and procedures and terminology for review, examination, and processing of a range of legal documents.

f.        Knowledge of various legal research sources, including electronic, and ability to conduct research and analyze information on a wide range of legal issues.

g.       Knowledge of the Laws and Acts of Uganda especially those pertaining to the operating environment of civil society organisations.

h.      Ability to interpret and apply legislative instruments, develop and present results, recommendations, and opinions clearly and concisely.

i.         Ability to draft legal papers and work under pressure.

j.        Ability to apply good legal judgment in the context of assignments given.

k.       Fluent written and spoken English;

·         Excellent communication and follow up skills including the ability to develop and present effective presentations to partners and other key stakeholders.

·         Excellent writing, copy editing, and proofreading skills.

l.         Excellent computer literacy (primarily in Microsoft Office packages) and ability to apply in assignments;

m.    Excellent interpersonal and team working skills; and ability to work independently with minimal supervision;

n.      Excellent time and project management skills with proven ability to  work under pressure and meet deadlines;

o.      Strong problem-solving skills, capacity to analyze information and recommend necessary recourse for maximizing project progress and impact;

p.      Ability to cope with high levels of responsibility and with confidential matters and a high degree of professional ethics and integrity









 
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Job Title: Senior Programmes Officer – Research and Training

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. HRCU 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 at different levels.

 Broad Function:

The officer will be responsible for the development and implementation of all the research and training initiatives in support of the vision and mission of HRCU including its strategic objectives. The work will generally include fact-finding; legal research at the local, national, regional and international level while providing expertise in training.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities:

1.       Research, drafting and data analysis

a.       Take the lead in coordinating research projects on identified issues regarding the environment in which HRDs operate, while identifying project goals, research methods, variables, choose how to collect data, review and analyse it and make research schedules to monitor the activities of research teams.

b.      Develop written materials (literature reviews, position papers, concise reports) which will be made available in both print and electronic formats on different thematic areas as shall be advised

c.       Work with the Programmes team to develop winning proposals, including conceptual, methodological, operational, and evaluative aspects for any related project;

2.       Plan, design and implementation

a.       Work with Head of Programmes in planning and designing HRCU’s research strategies for any given research project

b.      Lead the given fieldwork activities for training from the planning stage through to the evaluation stage

c.       Coordinate and facilitate trainings, workshops, consultative meetings, public and community dialogues while ensuring that all training program deliverables are met

d.      Prepare reports on completed activities as outlined in the work plans within the approved funding timelines by the different donors.

e.      In collaboration with the M&E Officer, ensure that documentation of activity results including outcomes and best practices are maintained and communicated accordingly to support management in evidence based decision making and learning purposes.

                                              

3.       Representation, Networking and Partnership

a.       Represent HRCU at different fora, workshops, seminars, conferences and events nationally, regional and internationally as may be assigned from time to time and prepare reports accordingly;

b.      Develop and maintain good working relations with key stakeholders  (government agencies, local authorities, policy makers, and relevant organisations) to promote a better understanding of HRCU’s mandate;

c.       Develop and remain up-to-date on partnership with various stakeholders to mobilize their support for HRCU activities.

4.       Other duties

a.       Undertake other duties as reasonably assigned by the Head of Programmes or Executive Director from time to time.

   Skills and Competencies

a.       Bachelors’ degree in law or equivalent;

b.      Possession of a Masters’ degree will be an added advantage

c.       Minimum of four years progressive professional experience in capacity building, advocacy, human rights, research and/or communications and networking;

d.      Fluent written and spoken English;

·         Excellent communication and follow up skills including the ability to develop and present effective presentations to partners and other key stakeholders.

·         Excellent writing, copy editing, and proofreading skills.

e.      Excellent computer literacy (primarily in Microsoft Office packages) and ability to apply in assignments;

f.        Knowledge of qualitative, quantitative and participatory research methodologies, Understanding of methodologies for synthesis and meta-analysis of qualitative and quantitative data

g.       Experience conducting desk-based reviews, synthesizing information NGOs and communicating key messages clearly

h.      Experience of working with diverse forms of data, including qualitative and quantitative material

i.         Excellent interpersonal and team working skills; and ability to work independently with minimal supervision;

j.        Excellent time and project management skills with proven ability to  work under pressure and meet deadlines;

k.       Strong problem-solving skills, capacity to analyze information and recommend necessary recourse for maximizing project progress and impact;

l.         Strong capacity building and facilitation skills

m.    Strong and demonstrated communication skills, including web-based communication, writing research reports, writing donor reports









 
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Volunteers and Interns at HRCU

Former interns



Rik Van Hulst

(April - July 2013)

Radboud University-Nijmegen Netherlands

I am a master's student in Human Geography and have an MSC in Business Administration from the Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands. I was privileged to join the Human Rights Centre Uganda for three months. It really was an experience in which I developed myself in many ways and got to know motivated and inspiring individuals. In my opinion, the work and violated rights of HRDs is still an under-exposed subject, and therefore the Centre does a great job in broadening the visibility of the work of HRDs. The large variety of tasks the Centre provides regarding defending and promoting the rights of human rights defenders (HRDs), makes the Centre a necessity in the field of human rights in Uganda.


During my internship I was a member of the Programmes department, whereby my main tasks were analyzing bills, co-developing the first newsletter of the Centre, and co-developing a renewed research approach for the Annual Report. The diversity of tasks kept me busy in a positive way, where I met interesting people, attended meetings and debates and learned to analyze problems from different perspectives.


Next to this, I got the feeling my experiences and knowledge also contributed to the Centre's activities. During my internship I did research for my master thesis whereby I focused on human rights defenders active in the oil sector. The Centre, in particular Jacqueline Kasoma, helped me with my first contacts, got me on the participants list of meetings and provided me with information. Also the Centre's library is a real source of information and a nice working environment. 


The one conclusion I can draw is that the Centre is a wonderful place to work to participate in a team of hardworking professionals. It was not only a very beneficial and fruitful experience, the team also very family-like. The work is done with passion, and I am glad I could contribute my part. Margaret Sekaggya, Executive Director of the Centre and UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, is a role model with a great personality. It was a great time getting to know the Centre, Uganda and most of all, the Ugandan people.




 
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Blog

  • 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.

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