6 April 2021, Entebbe: - The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) in Uganda, in collaboration with the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), Uganda Police Force (UPF) and Wakiso District Local Government has organised a three days training for 40 senior Police Officers, 11 females and 29 males, from Wakiso District on “human rights standards applicable to security and law enforcement operations” at Imperial Golf View Hotel in Entebbe.
In her opening remark the UN Resident Coordinator and Designated Official, H.E Ms Rosa Malango said, “Today we are taking a new step to reinforce our partnership in Uganda related to governance, rule of law, peace and stability by organizing, for the first time, a training workshop for senior police officers in Wakiso District. Being a hierarchical institution, orders and guidance by superiors are critical to ensure that human rights are fulfilled by the Force while protecting and serving the wanainchi. Your guidance as supervisors and your criteria as senior police officers to promote or reject behaviour will inform how police officers execute their responsibilities.”
The opening session of the training was also graced by OHCHR Country Representative, Mr Robert Kotchani, and Chairperson of the Wakiso District, Mr Matia Lwanga Bwanika. Mr Kotchani elaborated on the significance of international, regional and national human rights instruments and why the Police and other security agencies should uphold human rights standards.
Mr Bwanika highlighted that Wakiso District had the most active District Human Rights Committee in the country thanks to support from partners such as OHCHR and the Foundation of Human Rights Committee (FHRI), “who have assigned a lawyer to provide pro-bono human rights legal services in the district.” Mr Bwanika said.
The workshop is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular, SDG 16 which aims at building peace, justice and strong institutions as well as the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2021-2025 which outlines our ambition to help ensure that by 2025 Uganda has inclusive and accountable governance systems and people are empowered, engaged and enjoy human rights, peace, justice and security.
The workshop was organised under the auspices of the UN joint project on “Harnessing the Youth’s Potential for Sustaining Peace in Uganda” funded by the United Nations Peace Building Fund - an initiative which is jointly implemented by the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and OHCHR. The initiative recognizes the central role of the youth and women in sustaining peace and preventing conflict in Uganda. Priority districts are Wakiso, Kampala, Kasese and Bundibugyo.
Ms Malango invited other districts to emulate Wakiso District leadership to create similar Committees to raise awareness on human rights issues among their residents and improve interaction with authorities.