Human Rights Defenders Law Consultations Begin

By Edwin Muhumuza

The law to protect Human Rights Defenders is in offing following the first consultative meeting on the 1st Draft of the HRD protection Bill. The move follows after Gulu municipality MP, Lyandro Komaketch sought leave of parliament to table the bill.

This scrutiny was courtesy of the Defenders Protection Initiative alongside the coalition of Human Rights Defenders(HRDs) Uganda.

The consultations with the parliamentary committee on legal affairs and committee of Human Rights together with the legal fraternity in Kampala kick-started a process that will see their rights to function protected.

During the pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Human Rights Defenders Protection Bill, stakeholders said Human rights Defenders Peculiar and difficult working environment makes them susceptible to unique human rights violations.

“There is currently no specific law providing for Human Rights Defenders Protection. So, the Human Rights Defenders Bill aims to afford greater and specific protection against human rights violations arising from the work that HRDs do.” said Komaketch the mover of the bill.

Representing the Legal committee of parliament Hon. Veronica Eragu noted that cases of human rights defenders and violation of their rights has risen and so there is need for protection under the Human Rights Defenders Law.

“It is only fair that we bring up legislation that can defend HRDs because they experience a lot of challenges as frontline advocates for the common person” said Eragu.