United Nations Human Rights Country Representative, Robert Kotchan has appealed to the Government to quickly consider appointing a substantive Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission before the January next year’s general elections.
Kotchan said on Friday at Parliament that the electoral period registers the highest cases of human rights violations and abuses hence the need for a fully installed chairperson not someone serving in an acting position.
“My office has particularly joined the advocacy for the appointment of a new substantive Chairperson of Uganda Human Rights Commission, a body established by the law to resolve human issues in the country,” said Kotchan.
The UN human rights chief made his remarks during the swearing in ceremony of the Uganda Parliamentary Press Association (UPPA) that was also attended by the Head of European Union Delegation Attilio Pacifici.
Kotchan noted that the channel to address human rights matters are critical in preserving peace and preventing violence.
“This is the most important time the Uganda Human Rights Commission is needed to look into the electoral violence cases and handle them. Having someone in an acting capacity is not good enough,” he said.
UHRC is a commission with National jurisdiction which was established in 1995 and has been in operation since 1996. It was established by Article 51 of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and operationalized by the Uganda Human Rights Act No. 4 of 1997 as well as the Uganda Human Rights Commission Procedure Rules No. 22 of 1998.
UHRC is mandated to investigate, at its own initiative or on a complaint made by any person or group of persons against the violation of any human right and recommend to Parliament effective measures to promote human rights, including provision of compensation to victims of violations of human rights or their families and public debate on the role of media in promoting
The chairperson of the commission Medi Kagwa passed on last year and his deputy Dr. Katebalirwe Amooti took over in acting capacity. The substantial chairperson is yet to be appointed.