Harnessing the Youth’s Potential for Sustaining Peace in Uganda

Wakiso 23 October 2020: -Youth and women have a central role in the peace architecture, but also in sustaining peace and in the prevention of conflict – which is a very relevant role in the context of elections. At a three-day training of members of the Wakiso District Human Rights Committee on basic human rights, concepts and engagement with international and regional human rights mechanisms, fifteen [10 women, 5 men] participants discussed the challenges faced in the protection and promotion of human rights and elaborated a one-year strategic plan focusing on the 2020/21 elections, and engaging the youth in peace processes in Uganda. The training was organized under a UN joint project, funded under the auspices of the United Nations Peace Building Fund (PBF), which focuses on “Harnessing the Youth’s Potential for Sustaining Peace in Uganda”.

The Country Representative of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Uganda, Mr Robert Kotchani, challenged participants on their key role in ensuring the protection and promotion of human rights by; “creating awareness among communities, and ensuring that as duty bearers, you are accountable to other duty bearers adhering to all relevant human rights commitments at the international, regional and national levels.” The committee has a role in the identification, documentation and reporting on human rights violations and to advocate with the relevant national, regional and international human rights mechanisms with a view to ensuring accountability for the human rights violations.” He added.

Speaking during the three-day training, the Head of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) Central Region Office, Ms Juliet Logose underscored the timeliness of the training and the important role of such locally-based human rights initiatives. “The training is timely because the Uganda Human Rights Commission is overstretched and therefore, having Wakiso District Human Rights Committee on board is a very timely opportunity for coordination.” She stated.   Ms Juliet Logose noted that the Committee has the important role of sensitizing the community, advocate for the promotion and protection of human rights as provided for in various national, regional and international human rights instruments. She reiterated the Uganda Human Rights Commission’s commitment and contribution to the human rights agenda, “to respect human dignity.”

The Wakiso District Human Rights Committee was inaugurated with participation by the UHRC and OHCHR on 5 August 2020 and, Wakiso being part of areas identified as ‘‘Hot Spots’’ during the upcoming elections, different activities and interventions have been designed under the PBF project to ensure that preventive actions are taken by various stakeholders to sensitize the youth for peaceful elections in 2020/21.