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Uganda

Draft still being prepared, current draft includes important rights contained in the Model Law, others not properly developed. State obligations in a similar state. Protection Mechanism not yet properly developed.

The human rights defenders’ bill, 2018

Type of instrument: Law and Protection Mechanism
Status: (as of 1 January 2022)
In progress; initial draft prepared by civil society; in discussion.

Comments on the instrument:
The draft law is still being prepared, and drafts to date have missed important elements and rights contained in the Model Law, while those included in the draft are not properly developed. This makes the draft hard to understand and could lead to restrictive interpretation or implementation if passed in a similar form. Fundamental obligations of the State are missing or not properly enunciated and there are multiple blocks of text which are disconnected from the document. Finally, the Protection Mechanism established through the law is not properly developed, as most of its functions are contained in a single article, and important elements are missing.

Does the instrument contain specific provisions easily used to restrict human rights defenders’ rights?
No


Comparison to the Model Law

Below is a short summary of the instrument as compared to the Model Law. For additional information and analysis by ISHR on Uganda, click here.

A selection of fundamental rights for human rights defenders incorporated in the instrument:

Provision

Covered?

Analysis / articles

Definition of Human Rights Defender

FULL

Part I, 1.

Right to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms

PART

Part II, 2., (1), (a)

Part II, 3., (a)

Right to Form Groups, Associations, and Organisations

FULL

Part II, 2., (1), (a), (xi)

Right to Solicit, Receive and Utilise Resources

FULL

Part II, 2., (1), (a), (xiii)

Right to freedom of expression and to seek, receive and disseminate Information

FULL

Part II, 2., (1), (a), (vii, ix, x)

Right to access and cooperate with NGOs, government organisations and international organisations

FULL

Part II, 2., (1), (a), (viii)

Right to participate in public affairs

FULL

Part II, 2., (1), (a), (i-vi)

Right to Peaceful Assembly

FULL

Part II, 2., (1), (a), (xii)

Right to represent and advocate

PART

Part II, 2., (1), (a)

Right to freedom of movement

NONE

 

Right to Privacy

PART

Part II, 2., (1), (a), (xiv)

Part II, 2., (2)

Freedom from intimidation or reprisal

FULL

Part II, 2., (1), (a), (xv)

Freedom from defamation and stigmatisation

FULL

Part I, 1., (VII, XIII)

Part II, 2., (1), (a), (xv)

State obligations regarding human rights defenders in the instrument?

Obligation to respect, promote, protect and fulfil rights of human rights defenders

NONE

 

Obligation to facilitate the activities and work of human rights defenders 

NONE

 

Obligation to prevent and to ensure protection against arbitrary or unlawful intrusion, interference, and intimidation or reprisal

FULL

Part II, 2., (1)

Part III, 4. – 7.

Obligation to investigate, provide an effective remedy and ensure reparation

FULL

Part II, 2., (1), (a), (xvi)

Part III, 4.-7.

Part V., 10.

Mechanism on the protection of human rights defenders established in the instrument?
Yes, in part IV.

Provision

Covered?

Articles

Cooperation with human rights defenders, civil society, and national and international human rights bodies

PART

Part IV, 9., (g, n)

Training of mechanism’s personnel on human rights and fundamental freedoms

NONE

 

Periodic reviews with independent experts and CSOs on the functioning of the Mechanism

NONE

 

Resources for adequate functioning of the Mechanism / transparency on resource usage 

NONE

 

Public acknowledgement of human rights defenders’ work and rights (promotion of UN Declaration)

FULL

Part IV, 9., (h, m)

Disseminate information on protection programmes for human rights defenders, Mechanism’s work

FULL

Part IV, 9., (l)

Development of protocols and guidelines based on best practices to protect human rights defenders

FULL

Part IV, 9., (c)

Assist investigations for prosecuting offences against human rights defenders

FULL

Part IV, 9., (f)

Granting of protective measures based off a specific risk assessment

FULL

Part IV, 9., (a, b, c, i)

Review / appeal of Mechanism decision before courts or independent authority

NONE

 

Confidentiality and personal data protection

NONE

 

Actions to achieve structural changes (annual reports on the situation of human rights defenders, advising government on laws and policies related to human rights defenders) 

FULL

Part IV, 9., (d, e, j, k)

Quick access

2018 Draft Law