Declaration of National Coalition for Human Rights Defenders – Uganda

Declaration of National Coalition for Human Rights Defenders – Uganda 

Meeting 11 to 14 June 2013 in Kampala, Uganda

 

Recalling Article 51 under the Bill of Rights (Chapter four) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995;

Further recalling the commitment of the State Members of the African Union in the Grand Bay Declaration to implement the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on the right and responsibility of individuals, groups and organs of society to promote and protect universally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms commonly known as ‘’the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders’’, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1998;

Considering the Grand Bay Declaration and its Plan of Action adopted by the OAU Ministerial Conference on the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa in 1999, the objectives and principles contained in the Constitutive Act 2000 of the African Union;

Further considering the Kigali Declaration adopted at the 1st African Union Ministerial Conference on Human Rights in Africa in 2003;

Deeply concerned by challenges human right defenders (HRD) face in Uganda notably, the repeated attacks from state and non-state actors, the limitations of freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of association and assembly and the restrictive legislative  environment that impacts the security and the work of HRDs;

Reaffirming the principle on the rights and responsibility of individual groups and organs of society to promote and protect universally recognized fundamental human rights and freedoms;

Bearing in mind the need of synergy of action, cooperation, collaboration and best practices sharing among HRDs in Uganda;

The National Coalition for Human Rights Defenders – Uganda solemnly:

Commits to actively engage with national, regional and international mechanisms and give more attention to the most at risks defenders including women HRDs, sexual orientation and gender identity defenders, journalists, ethnic minorities and persons with disability and HRDs working on issues of environment, natural resources and human rights violations;

Notes with satisfaction the rich contributions of high level guests to the workshop namely: H.E. Roberto Ridolfi, E.U Ambassador to Uganda; H.E. Stephano Dejak, Italian Ambassador to Uganda; Ms. Margaret Sekaggya, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of HRDs; Mr. Hassan Shire Sheikh, Chairperson of the Pan African Human Rights Defenders Network; Mr. Mohammed Ndifuna, CEO of HURINET; Ms. Patricia Nduru, representative of the acting Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission; Ms. Sheila Muwanga,  the representative of Foundation for Human Rights Initiative; and Mr. Richard Sewakiryanga, Executive Director of the Uganda National NGO Forum;

Decides:

  1.   To launch the National  Coalition for Human Rights Defenders – Uganda (Coalition);
  2.   To elect the Steering Committee members of the Coalition  and its regional representatives;
  3.  To establish its secretariat hosted by HURINET-Uganda; and
  4.  To adopt its Memorandum of Understanding and Plan of Action for two years.

 

Done in Kampala, Uganda, 14June 2013