Kampala, 11 December 2019: “Civil Society Organisations play a critical role in the protection and promotion of human rights, particularly through "identifying, documenting, reporting human rights violations and advocating for redress and accountability", said the Country Representative of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Uganda.
Mr Robert Kotchani made the remarks on 3 December while opening a three-day training workshop on human rights advocacy for fifty CSO representatives working on various human rights issues in different parts of the country.
The training covered aspects of introduction to human rights, how human rights are protected including through various mechanisms at the national, regional and international levels, as well as on human rights monitoring, reporting and advocacy. The training also focused on public freedoms such as the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and the right to liberty and security of person.
Participants were imparted with practical skills on how to monitor, document, report human rights violations and abuses as well as, how to utilise the existing human rights mechanisms to ensure appropriate responses.
“I found the training highly useful to my work on promoting the rights of persons with disabilities. I have learnt of the existence of the United Nations Committee that monitors the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. I will encourage my colleagues at work, on how to engage with the committee, especially, through providing relevant reports” said a female participant from eastern Uganda.
Another participant from northern Uganda said, “as a lawyer, I found the training more relevant to my legal aid work. The information has enhanced the scope of options that I will be advising my clients on”.
Mr Kotchani reiterated the commitment of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for continued support in the area of promotion of human rights, and as regards capacity building of Government officials- though Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) – civil society, and the United Nations system, on a diverse range of human rights thematic areas.