Uganda: All Bills Must Be Human Rights Compliant

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The speaker of parliament says a new checklist for human rights, the first if its kind in Uganda will guide the committee on human rights, the executive and legislators and other stakeholders on what the issues to look out for in bills, budgets, policy statements, and other government programmes introduced in parliament.

While launching the checklist for human rights at Hotel Africana in collaboration with the parliamentary committee for human rights and the British High Commission, Kadaga said it is a brick in mainstreaming all human rights.

"This checklist takes into account the specific rights contained in Chapter Four of the constitution and requires every minister or member introducing any business in parliament to answer specific questions relating to that business, in order to quickly alert the members of the human rights implications of that particular business," said Kadaga.

The British High Commissioner, Alison Blackburne, applauded the speaker and the 16 months old parliamentary committee upon writing the checklist. She added that human rights are necessary for good governance and that good legislation will lead to quality human rights.

"This will create an atmosphere where human rights are observed both in and outside parliament."

Jovah Kamateeka, woman representative for Mitooma and also the chairperson for the commmitte agrees, saying "a system without observance of human rights, fear is the order of the day."

She added that there is need to create criteria upon which human rights are to be complied with while Blackburne said the commission wants to introduce a certificate of compliance for countries.

Kamateeka is urging the police to review its shoot to kill campaign to curb robbery citing the abuse of human rights and also redeem its image as portrayed in the media.

All Ugandans are presumed innocent until proven guilty in the courts of law. The fear is that you (police) might shoot somebody who is innocent," Kamateeka said.

Safia Nalule, the Persons with Disabilities(PwD) representative, also the vice chairperson of the committee said that there is need to fast track the building control bill to address the issue of difficulty of PwD in accessing buildings.

SOURCE: AllAfrica.com, September 10th 2013: http://allafrica.com/stories/201309110181.html