CEDAW Report to Uganda and Women Human Rights Defenders
CEDAW concluding observations on WHRDs followed Women Human Rights Defenders Network Uganda’s recommendations and advocacy calls!
Women human rights defenders and journalists
- The Committee takes note of the information provided by the State party that the rights to freedom of opinion, expression, association and peaceful assembly are guaranteed by the Constitution. It is concerned, however, that the work of women human rights defenders and women journalists continues to be restricted and they are often victims of arrests, physical, including sexual, assaults, threats, intimidation, harassment, and freezing of assets. In this regard, it notes with concern that women human rights defenders advocating for the rights of lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons are at particular risk due to the rippling effects of the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2014, although it was struck down by the Constitutional Court.
- The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Ensure that women human rights defenders and journalists can freely carry out their legitimate activities and create an enabling environment for them to advocate for women’s human rights and exercise their democratic rights;
(b) Prevent discrimination against women human rights defenders and journalists, ensure their protection from violence and intimidation, investigate, prosecute and punish all abuses against them, including by public officials, and strictly enforce the Human Rights Enforcement Act 2019;
(c) Amend provisions that unduly restrict funding to civil society organisations, including women’s organizations, in the Anti-Terrorism Act (Amendment) 2015, the Computer Misuse Act 2011 and the Non-Governmental Organizations Act 2016, and consider enacting comprehensive legislation for the protection of civil society organizations, including women human rights defenders and journalists, in conformity with the Convention.