During the 50th session of the Human Rights Council held on July 1st 2022, Uganda presented the outcome of its 3rd Universal Periodic Review where only 54% of the recommendations given for review were accepted by Uganda and none of them were related to the protection of human rights defenders.
In a joint statement delivered by International Service For Human Rights and Women Human Rights Defenders Network Uganda (WHRDN-U), highlighted that the government has shown very little will to change the situation of human rights defenders by noting recommendations on:
- The excessive use of force
- The need to combat impunity
- Freedom of expression and peaceful assembly
- 16 recommendations concerning civic space and human rights defenders that were offered by all regional groups
WHRDNU Executive Director Brenda Kugonza speaks during the 50th Human Rights Council advocating for laws to protect women human rights defenders in Uganda.
International Service for Human Rights recommends Uganda to
- Adopt the Human Rights Defenders Bill and ensure it is gender-sensitive to give full force and effect to the UN resolution on the Protection of women defenders and the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders
- Publicly affirm the legitimate role of women defenders and protect them from violations by State and non-State actors by acknowledging such violations and implementing security measures for them
- Finally, refrain from criminalising the legitimate activities of defenders including women defenders, and repeal all laws and policies that restrict their activities and rights, including the Public Order Management Act, the Anti-Pornography Act, Anti-Money Laundering Act, Anti-Terrorism Act ( as amended), and the Computer Misuse Act.