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#COVID-19: Interventions by the Uganda Human Rights Commission

Uganda Human Rights Commission Uganda Human Rights Commission

 

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) has come up with several interventions related to the observance of human rights.

 

These interventions include the following:

 

 

UHRC Central Regional Office is airing spot messages as a campaign against the COVID-19 pandemic with a human rights perspective .The messages are running on Capital FM, CBS(Kampala) ; Sun FM ( Mityana); Buwama FM (Moigi) and Tropical FM ( Mubende).

 

UHRC Commissioner Mr. Meddie Mulumba has been interviewed by NTV where he gave a comprehensive insight into the human rights perspective of the pandemic. WATCH VIDEO HERE

 

UHRC has also issued COVID-19 guidelines to its staff across all its central and regional offices during the lockdown

 

UHRC further issued a press statement on 25th March 2020 on human rights concerns in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. READ STATEMENT HERE

 

Radio talk shows on the COVID 19 and the human rights perspective have been held and others are still lined up on the following stations: Radio One, Dembe FM, Bukedde FM, Namirembe FM and Sun FM (Mityana)

 

UHRC on Tuesday, 14 April 2020 participated in a Webinar titled: "Should Uganda declare a State of Emergency in response to COVID-19?". The webinar was hosted by Bernard Oundo with the following panelists: Prof. Fredrick E. Ssempebwa, Founding and Senior Partner, Katende, Ssempebwa Advocates; Dr. Patricia Achan-Okiria, Commissioner Uganda Human Rights Commission; and Mr. Godber Tumushabe, Associate Director, Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies.

 

UHRC authored an OPED in New Vision Newspaper by Commissioner Patricia Okiria titled: "Human rights-based effective response to COVID-19 in Uganda" published on 8th April 2020. READ Op-Ed HERE

 

UHRC Fort Portal regional office has developed a COVID-19 message/ poster and shared it on whatsapp groups, radios and on the UHRC online platforms

 

There are currently radio spot messages on Elgon radio in Kapchorwa that are being translated into kupsabiny by the Soroti regional office. The spot messages are in respect of limitations in enjoyment of human rights in respect of public interest with specific reference to public health and in particular COVID-19. The notices call upon the public to carry out their responsibilities by abiding by the Government directives in restrictions and other procedures. Urge them to respect rights of people suspected to be infected with COVID-19 and not to discriminate against them or subject them to mob action.  The messages further call upon the law enforcement officers to respect human rights in performance of their duties.

 

Discussions have been held with Etop Radio to conduct an on line radio talk show in respect of limitation of rights and responsibilities of citizen in respect of COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Complaints Management

The Commission received complaints during the lock down period through its toll free lines, social media platforms and emails. The complaints so far received relate to the following issues:

 

1. Complaints against the extension of the quarantine period for those who had been under institutional quarantine by Government

2. Complaints of alleged brutality by law enforcement and security officials whilst enforcing the Presidential directives of lock down and curfew

3. Complaints of alleged lack of access to food during the lock down period

4. Complaints of alleged lack of access to medical care during the lock down period

5. Complaints of violence in homes and heightened family wrangles during the lock down period.

6. Complaints of employees who were stuck at their work places in remote areas as a result of the Presidential directives and could not go back to their homes.

Some of the complaints were referred to the National Task Force on COVID-19 for appropriate management

In addition, the Commission has been making interventions with regard to arrests and detentions around the country, and has on various cases intervened to ensure that suspects on petty offenses are released on police bond in a timely manner, to avoid over crowding in cells.

 

CLICK HERE to contact UHRC for inquiries, comments or complaints

 

 

TOLL FREE UHRC REGIONAL CONTACTS

 

UHRC HEAD OFFICE 0800100766

 

UHRC JINJA REGIONAL OFFICE 0800144201

 

UHRC FORTPORTAL REGIONAL OFFICE 0800144200

 

UHRC MBARARA REGIONAL OFFICE 0800144202

 

UHRC MASAKA REGIONAL OFFICE 0800144203

 

UHRC CENTRAL REGIONAL OFFICE 0800122444

 

UHRC GULU REGIONAL OFFICE 0800144166

 

UHRC HOIMA REGIONAL OFFICE 0800144204

 

UHRC SOROTI REGIONAL OFFICE 0800144206

 

UHRC ARUA REGIONAL OFFICE 0800144207

 

UHRC LIRA FIELD OFFICE 0800144208

 

UHRC MOROTO REGIONAL OFFICE 0800144212

 

UHRC KITGUM FIELD OFFICE 0800144214

 

 

DOWNLOAD (PDF) - UHRC Toll-free contact information

 

 

Published: April 16, 2020

 

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