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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Struggle for the Protection of Human Rights in Uganda: A Critical Analysis of the Work of Human Rights Organizations
Author:Lomo, Zachary A.
Periodical:East African Journal of Peace and Human Rights (ISSN 1021-8858)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Uganda
East Africa
human rights
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Nongovernmental organizations
Civic education
urban areas
Organizational structure
Abstract:This article presents a critical analysis of the work of human rights organizations (HROs) in Uganda. The analysis is based on data collected through interviews and questionnaires in September and October 1997. The HROs include legally constituted, non-profit and value-driven NGOs and the only governmental human rights body, the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC). The major purpose of the study was to review the performance of HROs in Uganda in order to suggest how they might be improved. Another purpose was to identify HROs which might expand their mandate to provide services to refugee populations. The HROs are assessed in terms of their level of activism, their participation in the lawmaking process, the amount of advocacy work in which they engage, their accessibility to clients, their level of internal democratization, their level of transparency and their financial accountability. HROs in Uganda appear to have performed fairly well in the area of legal awareness campaigns through legal education programmes and the provision of legal services. Nevertheless, most of them lack a broad human rights perspective. They have been inhibited by their dependence on external sources of funding. Most of them are urban-based. Many of them suffer from a lack of internal democracy. As they revolve too much around individual personalities, they lack a wide base of support. The media in Uganda have played the role of a watchdog on human rights issues much more effectively than the HROs. Notes, ref.