According to the 16th Annual Report 2013 of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), there are some emerging Human Rights concerns, these include: increasing incidents of murder; increasing students’ strikes in schools; the challenges of human trafficking; the state of media freedom; and freedom of assembly and demonstration. Other emerging issues are the delays in the salaries of public servants (some up to 4 – 5 months); youth unemployment and underemployment as well as the plight of older persons.
Proposal to handle incidences of murder
We shall conduct thorough and expeditious investigations into the murders to apprehend and prosecute the culprits as well as manage the fear and anxiety among communities and the country at large;
Spearhead the development of a special prevention and response mechanism to prevent the re – occurrence of such murders, including intensification of community policing programmes and deployment in affected areas;
Scaling up the numbers and professional capacity of detectives to be more effective in detecting and preventing crime;
Conducting mass community sensitization on the importance of residents refraining from tampering with scenes of crime to enable the investigators to get reliable findings particularly in murder cases;
Keeping members of the public updated on the progress on the murder cases so as to re – assure them about the security situation in their communities as well as re – build public confidence and trust in the Police, and
To ensure all security agencies strengthen the control of arms, use and movement.
Handling Human Trafficking
There will be need to harmonize policies in place regarding the operations of companies that assist Ugandans to get employment out of Uganda. No Ugandan should get involved in such employment without having got relevant Government department clearance.
Handling Media Freedoms
Media managers and journalists need to adhere to the set professional code of ethics and practices,
Security personnel that violate rights of journalists to be brought to book and actions taken made public,
Government to increase funding to Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) to be able to train and sensitize media proprietors, managers and practitioners on their role in the promotion of Human Rights as well as their duties and responsibilities that come with the right to information and media freedom.
Handling Freedom of Assembly and Demonstration
The Uganda Police Force should exercise its discretionary powers judiciously by respecting Article 221 of the 1995 Constitution, which makes it a duty of all law enforcement agencies to observe and respect Human Rights and freedoms in the performance of their functions,
The Uganda Police Force should desist from the use of excessive force and ensure punishment of errant security officers,
The Uganda Law Reform Commission and Parliament should review the Public Order Management Act, 2013 together with the Police Act 303 and Penal Code Act Cap 120 so that they are brought in line with the Constitution,
Institutions of Justice that is: Uganda Police Force, Directorate of Public Prosecutions and the Judiciary should ensure that the Prevention and Prohibition of the Torture Act 2012 is implemented by bringing to book perpetrators of torture.