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Special Report: National Action Plan for Human Rights (Uganda)

Stakeholders during the "Human Rights Walk"  in commemoration of the International Human Rights Day in Kampala on December 10 2013 (Photo: JLOS) Stakeholders during the "Human Rights Walk" in commemoration of the International Human Rights Day in Kampala on December 10 2013 (Photo: JLOS)

 

The National Action Plan for Human Rights (NAP) is an integrated and systematic national strategy to help realize the advancement of human rights in any country. The Government of Uganda is developing a National Action Plan that will set out the ways in which the Government fulfils its responsibility to protect and promote human rights in Uganda. It will spell out the specific objectives and priorities in this regard, and the role of other bodies and individuals in ensuring respect for human rights. The NAP is also a key milestone in the realization of the JLOS SIP III undertakings and once implemented, the NAP will make substantial contributions towards the realization of the rule of law in Uganda.

The Government mandated the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs (MoJCA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) to lead development of the NAP. The development process is ongoing with the participation of other Government institutions such as the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), the Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS), the Uganda Police Force (UPF) and Ministry of Internal Affairs among others. The process is being supported by both Government and Development Partners that include Democratic Governance Facility (DGF), Deutsche Gesellschaft Fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The NAP is a national commitment to concrete measures that build and entrench a culture of human rights for the enjoyment of all people. It is a framework for sustained and coordinated ways in which Uganda as a country promotes and protects human rights.

Conceptual Premise

Uganda is developing a National Action Plan on Human Rights for the first time as a key outcome of Uganda’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by the United Nations Human Rights Council. The Universal Periodic Review Mechanismis a mechanism of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC) that emerged from the 2005 UN reform process. Established by General Assembly resolution 60/251 of 3 April 2006, the UPR periodically examines the human rights performance of all 193 UN Member States.

 

Objectives of the National Action Plan for Human Rights

The purpose of developing the Human Rights National Action Plan in Uganda is to; provide a national framework for coordination, monitoring and evaluation of human rights policies, programs, strategies, processes; and their implementation. The Plan is intended to spell out roles, functions and obligations of each stakeholder in a manner that their respective contributions to the protection, promotion and enjoyment of fundamental and other human rights and freedoms will be complementary and mutually reinforcing.

The NAP like other national government planning processes, the National Action Plan will strengthen the promotion, protection and respect of human rights in Uganda at both public and private levels.

 

Development process of the National Action Plan for Human Rights

Responsibility

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs are entrusted as the lead government institutions in the development of the National Action Plan for Human Rights. The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) on the other hand provides technical leadership to the process of developing the NAP.

A consultancy was commission by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs (MoJCA) are working in concert with various key stakeholders – State and non-State institutions. The concerted support of various stakeholders that include JLOS, Development Partners, CSOs, Academia and other government institutions will, on a regular basis, closely guide the Consultancy and shaping of the NAP based on the findings from the broad based consultations.

Leadership and Organisation

Management and technical frameworks have been put in place and are constituted by the various Stakeholders. The structures in place that oversee the development of the Action Plan include; Project Management Board, the JLOS Steering Committee and a Secretariat.

The Project Management Board is comprised of representatives of Contributors of funds for the development of the National Action Plan for Human Rights. The Board provides overall leadership to the process and is Chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Steering Committee is bestowed with the responsibility of overseeing the development of the NAP and reports to the Board on a quarterly basis. The Committee interfaces with the Consultants on a regular basis and provides technical guidance and direction to the NAP development process.

A Secretariat that is responsible for the day to day management of the project is provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and five other Government institutions (MoJCA, JLOS, UPF, MoD, and UHRC). The Secretariat coordinates all the activities of the structures that are supporting the NAP development process.

Financial Support

The Funds for the Development of the National Action Plan are provided by both the Government of Uganda and Development Partners. Funding is based on a shared central budget covering the entire NAP development process. The global budget for the NAP development process is estimated to cost of UGX1,8bn.

The responsibility for management of funds for the development of the NAP is with the Uganda Human Rights Commission that accounts to the Project Management Board through the Steering Committee.

Methodology and Duration

The process of developing the NAP is taking an all-inclusive consultative process aimed at reaching a national consensus building on existing successes in the area of human rights. The Consultants will conduct extensive desk reviews, engage in fieldwork using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods of work and run a comparative analysis of experiences.

Consultations with various stakeholders will target government and non-government institutions, informal structures, the private sector, the academia and such other relevant actors. The consultative activities will include the following;

a)Consultations with technical representatives of Government and CSOs ,

b)9 Regional consultative workshops for both Government and non-Government actors,

c)Consultations with heads of Government institutions,

d)Consultations with CSOs,

e)Consultations with Members of Parliament,

f)Consultations with JLOS Sector leadership,

g)EA Regional Consultations and experience sharing,

h)International Consultations and experience sharing

 

The NAP development process is expected to run for a period of two years and it is planned that a final NAP shall be launched by June 2016.

 

Call for action and participation

Therefore, the JLOS Secretariat implores all State and non-State institutions to participate in the process of the developing the NAP. All Government MDAs and non-Government actors are implored to make technical contributions and provide input to this process at any opportunity. The Sector plans to draw on the stipulations of the NAP to ensure a continued improvement in the observance of human rights in Uganda, within the public and private spheres of life.

Inquiries and contributions to this process are addressed to the head of the NAP Secretariat- the Director of International Cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, OR, to the Human Rights Officer, Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, OR, to the JLOS Advisor on Human Rights and Accountability.

 

By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | Published: August 28 2014

 

See also:

The JLOS Human Rights and Accountability Working Group