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THE HUMAN RIGHTS CENTRE UGANDA

Defending Human Rights Defenders


Women Human Rights Defenders Report

HRC Defenders Uganda

 

Women human rights defenders are both female and male human rights defenders, and any other human rights defenders who work in the defence of women’s rights or on gender issues. Women human rights defenders are not only subject to the same risks as any other human rights defenders but are also vulnerable to gender-specific threats and violence from the communities and authorities. This report analyses the situation of women human rights defenders in Uganda.

 

Women human rights defenders have the same rights as other human rights defenders as highlighted in the 1998 UN Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders) including the right to be protected, freedom of assembly and association, right to access and communicate with international bodies, right to freedom of opinion and expression, right to protest, right to develop and discuss new ideas, right to an effective remedy and right to access funding. By and large, women human rights defenders enjoy their rights in Uganda but with constraints and precincts by the communities and authorities. Women human rights defenders are affected by the following factors which have an impact on the enjoyment of their rights: religious, social and cultural norms, inadequate legislation, limited funding and capacity, low levels of awareness of women human rights defender’s rights, inadequate support mechanisms, impunity, challenges of access to justice, role of the media and abuse of information and communication technology, among others.

 

The defence of human rights by women human rights defenders remains a ‘dangerous’ activity. The situation of women human rights defenders in Uganda is fragile as they are vulnerable to attacks, discrimination, violence, threats, retaliation, pressure and arbitrary actions by their families, communities and the authorities. Although there are emerging good practices for the protection of women human rights defenders in Uganda through networks, security training, capacity building, emergency responses and there are ongoing efforts to have legislation that protects human rights defenders including women human rights defenders their situation needs urgent action.

 

The study therefore makes recommendations relating to increasing awareness through human rights education, strengthening the legislative framework, capacity building for women human rights defenders, enhancing the support mechanisms for women human rights defenders and encouraging women human rights defenders by giving them a specific award. There are specific recommendations for the government and other key stakeholders. Key among the recommendations for the government is to improve the situation of women human rights defenders including enhancing access to justice and documentation and efficient investigation of abuses and violations against them, among others.  





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The 5th Human Rights Defenders Annual Report

HRC Defenders Uganda

 

On 22nd March 2017, The Human Rights Centre Uganda (HRCU) held its 5th    Human Rights Defenders (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 theme focused on strengthening cooperation and building synergy amongst human rights defenders at national, district and grassroots levels. The Forum as a platform enabled the human rights defenders assess their working environment and identified critical barriers, shared best practices, established effective strategies to address the current critical barriers. It was also an opportunity to engage with various stakeholders who made recommendations for improving their working environment. The Forum among other current issues discussed the future of HRDs and the laws affecting them, the engagement and relevance of the national, regional and international human rights mechanisms and how HRDs are positioning themselves to implement the National Development Plan (NDP) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The overall objective of this forum was to enhance cooperation amongst HRDs and establish effective strategies in addressing the current issues embedded in the working environment of HRDs in Uganda.





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HRDs' Report 2016

HRC Defenders Uganda

 

This report provides an analysis of the operating environment
as well as perspectives of HRDs on the extent to which their rights are
promoted and protected. The report also provides perspectives on the
effectiveness of HRD work in Uganda and provides recommendations on how to
strengthen it.


This report also noted the increasing number of petitions filed by
HRDs, which was an indicator of the growing level of confidence that defenders
have in the justice system as an alternative avenue for redress. In particular,
2016 saw the first ever ruling pertinent to LGBTI rights at the sub-regional
level through the East African Court of Justice. This potentially provided
opportunities for defenders to pursue justice not just at domestic level but
also at such alternative fora. 

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HRDs Report 2014

HRC Defenders Uganda

 

The year 2014 saw a remarkable improvement in the use of advocacy platforms by HRDs as they challenged the Public Order Management Act 2013 (POMA), Anti Homosexuality Act 2014 (AHA) and the Anti-Pornography Act 2014 (APA), the laws that HRDs felt restricted of freedom of expression and association1 as well as the violation of human rights. In 2014, HRDs filed petitions in the Constitutional Court to challenge the APA and AHA at the national level; while at the regional level a petition was filed at the East African Court of Justice to challenge AHA.





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Human Rights Defenders Report 2013

HRC Defenders Uganda

 

This report presents a situational analysis of the working environment of human rights defenders (HRDs) in Uganda in 2013. The report analyses their challenges and opportunities, as well as best practices and makes recommendations to different stakeholders on improving the human rights promotion and protection in Uganda. It captures the trends in the environment in which HRDs operate in Uganda and makes proposals on how it can be improved. It builds on previous studies that have analysed the situation of HRDs.

In Uganda, HRDs face recurrent challenges similar to those in other parts of the world. These include restrictions on fundamental freedoms and human rights, financial constraints, a population that lacks human rights awareness and limited cooperation amongst HRDs. These challenges are perpetuated by both state and non-state actors. It is encouraging to know that despite the challenges, many HRDs are dedicated to promoting and protecting human rights and their efforts are invaluable.

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Human Rights Defenders in Uganda

HRC Defenders Uganda

 

An overview of the working environment for Human Rights Defenders in Uganda.
The defence of human rights is steadily gaining prominence in Uganda. There is also the growing realisation that in the course of defending human rights, many rights have been violeted and this has in many instances gone unnoticed. Concern about the challenges faced by Non-Governmental Organisations, individuals and other organisations involved in the defence of human rights has been one of the major reasons for publishing this report

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Human Rights Defenders in Uganda 2012: The Quest for a Better Working Environment

HRC Defenders Uganda

 

Human rights defenders in Uganda and throughout the world are presented with challenges, both recurrent and emerging new challenges that crop up every year. The challenges include violations of the rights of human rights defenders by state and non-state actors, and financial constraints which severely limit their capacity to undertake effectively the function of defending human rights. Many work conscious of the risk of imprisonment, harassment, physical violence and economic or social marginalization. It is however encouraging and commendable that despite the challenges, many human rights defenders in Uganda have remained dedicated to their work. For that we must continue to encourage and work in solidarity with all human rights defenders as we applaud them for their courageous hard work. Human rights defending are not a walk in the park as often there can be backlash against their work especially where reactionary forces feel that they have a lot to lose from the enforcement of human rights. Everyone engaged in this work should therefore be encouraged and supported.

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Human Rights Defenders in Uganda 2010 - 2011: A Situational Analysis of their Rights and Challenges

HRC Defenders Uganda