An analysis of human rights issues in Uganda: a case of East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP) Uganda
Maina, Irene W
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The study presented in this thesis focussed on human rights issues in Uganda using EHAHRDP as a case study. The study was guided by four objectives namely: to find out the forms of human rights violations that exists in Uganda; to establish the prevalence rate of human rights violations in Uganda; to identify the most important perpetratojs of human rights violations in the country and to establish the challenges faced by human rights defenders in, protecting, promoting, and upholding human rights in Uganda. The study adopted the use of questionnaires to collect primary data and document analysis for secondary data. A total of 15 respondents participated in the study drawn from EHAHRDP. The documents reviewed included those on human rights from Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), EHAHRDP, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch. From the study it was found that, the right to life was the most violated human right in Uganda followed by the right to freedom of assembly and association, children rights, women rights and right to property, respectively. The State was identified as the most important perpetrator of human rights violations, with the Ugandan police being the greatest perpetrators as noted by the UHRC and the respondents. The challenges that face human rights defenders in their work included; restriction on freedom of assembly and expression, donor influence on the human rights organizations, lack of capacity and skills, lack of human rights defenders' protection, high staff turnover, legal restrictions and limited or lack of funds. From this study it is recommendable for Ugandan the government to undertake an ambitious, holistic and sustainable programme that will take into account the immediate human rights issues by suing a mixture of alternative development strategies, like the diversification of sustainable agriculture and pastoral production, ensuring food security to mitigate the inextricable links with poverty that translates into violence, the restoration of the rule of law and good governance to deal with the culture of impunity relating to the use and control of the guns; and societal re-organization with a view of restoring the brokensocial fabric. Also the government should encourage freedom of assembly and expression as it 'helps communicate the public's will to the state and in so doing prevents the government from undertaking or continuing a particular course of action which lacks public support. Moreover, by allowing populations to demonstrate, assemble and express their views, the government's general exercise of power becomes legitimate and democratic. Lastly, there is need for continued community sensitization and civic education about people's rights and on how to protect and promote them.