The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) has concluded a series of training for District Planners and Civil Society Organizations (CSO) across the Country in the Human Rights-based Approach (HRBA). While officiating at the last training on Friday (August 11, 2023) the UHRC Chairperson Hon. Mariam Wangadya said the HRBA strives to ensure that every person in Uganda, regardless of race, beliefs, social, economic and political status effectively enjoys his/her rights and fulfils his/her duties and responsibilities. She said HRBA is a key strategy through which sustainable development can be progressively realised.
“The enjoyment of human rights does foster development when people are placed at the centre and have participated in development processes; they not only own it but also value and sustain it. The HRBA requires that development initiatives focus on the people who should then be a central consideration in all development processes; right from conception and planning; resource allocation; programming; to implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Needless to say, denial of rights impacts negatively on development. It is therefore important for every rights holder and duty bearer to appreciate that development is not charity but an obligation to fulfil human rights,” she said.
She revealed that for many years, the Commission has spearheaded the campaign for HRBA, which in simple terms means integrating human rights in all government actions.
“We are driven by a conviction that HRBA is the most appropriate strategy for ensuring sustainable development in Uganda.”
In his remarks as the same training, the Executive Director National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (NCHRD) Mr. Robert Kirenga underscored the need for government to involve the stakeholders in the policy development process arguing that it is fatal to create a policy without involving those whom it is going to affect.
“As Rights holders (CSOs) we also have a duty to practice HRBA before we go ahead to monitor how government is implementing it. I also think we need to have a paradigm shift in the way we deal with citizens. We need to take citizens as our bosses. It is important that we involve them and involvement is about participation in terms of realising these human rights,” he said.
The National Planning Authority (NPA) Manager, Governance and Public Sector Planning Ms. Rosette Kuhirwa revealed that since inception of HRBA, a number of laudable milestones have been realised as stakeholders get better grasp of the concept in each sequence of planning.
“Some of the milestones realised include: the development of the HRBA Planning Tool by NPA to help planning teams to identify, analyse, integrate human rights issues and monitor the implementation of HRBA across the NDPIII Programmes; Developed Human Rights Indicators for both the NDP III Monitoring and Evaluation result framework and the Local Government Reporting framework to support monitoring and evaluation of HRBA integration, building the capacities of planners in MDAs and LG in HRBA,” she said.
She urged participants to use the resources in their respective budgets to implement HRBA instead of failing to implement or waiting for special budgetary allocations.
The UHRC Director Research Education and Documentation Mr. Byonabye Kamadi under whose directorate these online trainings were conducted was glad that there was representation from all regions of the country among the participants.
Some of the participants decried the money-mindedness of especially youth leaders who often fail to turn up for trainings once they aren’t promised transport refund and some district leaders/politicians who turn up, register on the attendance sheet and disappear only to return in the evening to sign the facilitation. This, they reasoned, wastes resources without attaining the intended purpose of equipping participants. The HRBA training for district Planners took place on May 31st 2023.
Some of the organizations that attended are; Uganda Law Society Arua, FIDA Uganda, Center for health human rights and development, Poverty Alleviation and Community Development Foundation(PACODEF), Kikuube Youths Network, Forum for African Women Educationalist (FAWE) Uganda chapter, Karamoja Rights Advocacy Network, Busoga Governance and Social Accountability Network and MIFUMI. The others were; Elgon Foundation for Persons with Albinism, Buganda Kingdom, Gulu Women Economic Development & Globalization, West Nile Regional civil Society Network (WECISNET), International Community of Women Living with Hiv Eastern Africa (ICWEA), NUDIPU, Redcross society, ACTV, Women rights Initiative, Namayingo United women Group, United Organization for Batwa Development in Uganda, Center for Conflict Resolution among others.