The Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda, Rt. Hon Rebecca Kadaga on Monday 21st September 2015 received Dr. Uchenna Emelonye the new Country Representative for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Uganda.
During the meeting, Dr. Emelonye expressed interest in working with Parliament, especially in areas of Human Rights. He cited legislations like the Anti-Terrorism Bill and the NGO Bill as areas of interest.
“I would like to work with Parliament as there is a presumption that they have passed laws that violate human rights. We will be glad to offer any kind of help in regard to human rights activities and bills. I have also realized that some recently passed Bills indeed violate human rights", he explained.
The Speaker in response informed the Country Representative that Parliament had a Committee on Human Rights and they had developed a checklist to be used in assessing Bills that are presented before Parliament.
“We have a checklist generated by the Committee on Human Rights. I am not sure if other committees use it but it is there. I definitely agree with you that an extra eye and ear would be good,” she said.
The Speaker further informed the Country Representative that the Attorney General should be in position to send him the Bills for advice before they are passed. “It is also advisable for you to send the agreements to the legislature and Judiciary as compared to just dealing with the Executive,” she added.
Dr. Emelonye pledged to work hand in hand with the government and requested that the Speaker opens her office to OHCHR at all times. “The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is willing to support the government of Uganda and provide advisory services,” Dr. Emelonye said.
Dr. Uchenna Emelonye brings to the OHCHR Office over a decade of practicing and programming experience as a human rights attorney.