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Uganda - Tenth Periodic Reports of States Parties due in 1999- Addendum to Reports submitted by States Parties under Article 9 of the Convention [2001] UNCERDSPR 18; CERD/C/358/Add.1 (24 October 2001)

  • Tenth periodic reports of States parties due in 1999


    International Convention on
    the Elimination
    of all Forms of
    Racial Discrimination
    24 October 2001
    Original: ENGLISH




    Tenth periodic reports of States parties due in 1999



    [20 June 2001]

    * This document contains the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth periodic reports of Uganda due on 21 December 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997 and 1999, respectively, submitted in one document. For the initial report of Uganda and the summary records of the meetings at which the Committee considered that report, see documents CERD/C/71/Add.2 and CERD/C/SR.680 and 687.

    GE.01-45497 (E) 071201


    Paragraphs Page



    OF THE CONVENTION 36 - 99 7

    Article 2 36 - 57 7

    Article 3 58 - 59 10

    Article 4 60 - 62 11

    Article 5 63 - 89 11

    Article 6 90 - 91 15

    Article 7 92 - 99 15

    III. CONCLUSION 100 - 103 16

    List of annexes 17


    Physical features

    1. Uganda is situated in East Africa and lies astride the equator. The country borders the Sudan in the north, the United Republic of Tanzania to the south, Kenya in the east and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west.

    2. The country’s total surface area is 240,000 km2; 50,000 km2 are open water and swamp. Lake Victoria, the world’s secondlargest lake, is found in the southern part of Uganda; Kenya and Tanzania share the lake.

    3. The average altitude of the land is 1,200 m, however, Uganda also has mountain peaks like Mt. Elgon in the east at 4,321 m, Mt. Muhavura in the south at 4,127 m and the Rwenzori mountains in the west rising to 5,119 m.

    4. Temperatures in Uganda never vary greatly except in the mountainous regions. Minimum temperatures occur in July and August, while maximum temperatures usually occur in February. Any variations in temperature will usually occur as a result of altitude or proximity to Lake Victoria. Ten thousand square metres of Uganda’s surface is forest. The remaining surface is mainly open grassland giving way to semi-desert in the northeastern region of Karamoja.

    Demographic indicators

    5. In 1999, Uganda’s population was estimated at 20.4 million, an estimate based on a growth rate of 2.5 per cent per annum.

    Table 1. Demographic indicators for Uganda, 1999-2001

    11 484 000
    11 304 000
    Rural population
    18 999 000
    Urban population
    3 789 000
    Female life expectancy
    January 1991
    50.5 years
    Male life expectancy
    January 1991
    45.7 years
    Annual population growth rate
    Crude birth rate
    Crude mortality rate
    January 1991
    Literacy rate (female)
    Literacy rate (male)
    Per capita GDP (Ush)
    1999-2000 FY
    400 476 /=

    Data sources: 1991 - The 1991 Population and Housing Census.

    1995 - The Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 1995.

    1997 - The Uganda National Household Survey 1997.

    1999/00 - The Uganda National Household Survey 1999/2000.

    1999/00 FY - 1999/2000 Financial Year.

    Uganda’s indigenous communities

    6. Uganda is a multiracial and multi-ethnic society. The indigenous population is composed of 56 communities and nationalities, which have been specified in the Third Schedule to the Constitution of Uganda, 1995. These groups are segregated under four major ethnicities, namely, the Bantu, the Nilotics, the Nilo Hamites and the Luo. The alien population of Uganda includes Asians, Europeans, Americans, Arabs and Africans from other countries.

    7. Since it came to power in 1986, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Government has demonstrated concern for the welfare of the indigenous communities and people from all racial backgrounds.

    The economy

    8. Uganda’s economy is predominantly agro-based. Agriculture contributes approximately 51 per cent of GDP. Agriculture contributes about 90 per cent of export earnings and employs 80 per cent of the labour force. Industry contributes 10 per cent and manufacturing, 4 per cent.

    9. Since 1997, there has been an annual growth rate of 6.5 per cent, a rise in educational enrolment from 60 per cent to 80 per cent, a decrease in infant mortality from 122/1,000. Government revenue collection has improved with the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) collecting 522.23 billion shillings in taxes in 1994/95, up from 135.95 billion in 1990/91.

    10. In 1987, the Government of Uganda embarked on an economic recovery programme which included the promotion of prudent fiscal and monetary management, provision of improved incentives to the private sector, liberalization of the economy and development of human capital through investment in education and health.

    11. Government recently concluded a multidimensional and multidisciplinary participatory approach called National Long-Term Perspective Studies (NLTPS) Uganda Vision: 2025 Project. This exercise has formulated a goal for long-term sustainable development for the country.

    General political structure

    12. Pre-colonial Uganda was characterized by administration in centralized and decentralized societies. In the south, central and western regions a system of government modelled on a monarchical structure existed, notably kingdoms. The eastern and northern regions had chiefdoms and principalities. In almost all societies, administration was hereditary.

    13. During the colonial era, under the British Administration (1894-1962) the power of the kings and chiefs was reduced and a system of indirect rule was introduced. Uganda was declared a British Protectorate in 1894.

    14. In 1962 Uganda achieved political independence with a multiparty parliamentary democracy. The 1962 Independence Constitution was abrogated in 1966 and replaced by the 1967 Republican Constitution by President Apollo Milton Obote, who was overthrown by General Idi Amin in January 1971.

    15. During the military regime political parties were banned by General Idi Amin. The Tanzanian army, with the support of the Uganda National Liberation Front (UNLF), overthrew the brutal regime in April 1979.

    16. The UNLF established an “umbrella” political system that disintegrated before the December 1980 general elections, which saw Dr. Apollo Milton Obote reinstated as President of the Republic of Uganda.

    17. Dr. Obote was overthrown for a second time in July 1985 by forces led by Gen. Tito Okello Lutwa, who took over the reins of government.

    18. Six months later, in January 1986, the National Resistance Army led by Lt. Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni overthrew the military government. Yoweri Museveni is currently the President of the Republic of Uganda.

    19. In 1994/95 a Constituent Assembly was elected followed by negotiations resulting in the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda.

    20. In 1996, another general election took place in Uganda, which brought President Museveni into power as a democratically elected president, with a new Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.

    21. The political will of the Government of Uganda to uphold the principles of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination is illustrated by the entrenchment of those principles in article 21 of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, which provides that:

    “(i) All persons are equal before and under the law in all spheres of political,

    economic, social and cultural life and in every other respect and shall enjoy equal protection of the law.

    “(ii) Without prejudice to clause (1) of this article, a person shall not be discriminated

    against on the ground of sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, tribe, birth, creed or religion, or social or economic standing, political opinion or disability.”

    General legal framework

    22. The legal existence of an independent judiciary and the separation of powers of the executive, judicial and the legislative arms of the Government are provided for under the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda.

    23. The laws that operate in Uganda include statutory and case law, common law and doctrines of equity. The highest form of recognized law is statutory law. Under the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, article 2 (2) provides that “If any other law or any custom is inconsistent with any of the provisions of this Constitution, the Constitution shall prevail, and the other law or custom shall, to the extent of the inconsistency be void.”

    24. The court system in Uganda is dual, carrying both formal and informal qualities. The informal court system was established by the 1987 Resistance Committees (Judicial Powers) Statute, while the formal judicial system was established by the Constitution. The Resistance Committees were renamed Local Councils.

    25. The informal court system starts at the village level with the local council (LC) court comprised of between five and nine members. The LC court is given limited powers to try specified cases, for example petty thefts and domestic matters.

    26. Under the formal court system, there are magistrate grade II courts at the county level, which function as family and children’s courts as provided for under sections 14 and 16 of the 1996 Children Statute of the Republic of Uganda. At district level is found the chief magistrate’s court.

    27. Next in the line of hierarchy is the High Court with regional representation, followed by the Court of Appeal, which doubles as the Constitutional Court and handles appeals

    from the High Court. The highest court in the land is the Supreme Court.

    28. Appeals are the main links between the informal and formal courts. Appeals from the LC III courts for instance are taken to the chief magistrate’s court.

    29. There are also special courts like the General Court-Martial, which had long been defunct and was revived in 1987. It deals specifically with military personnel. The other courts include the Industrial Court, which handles matters regarding employer and employee relationships, trade union matters and the like, and, finally, there are the land tribunals.

    30. At the international level, the NRM Government has always condemned the practice of racial discrimination wherever it exists. This position has been codified in the foreign policy objectives of Uganda as contained in chapter XXVIII of the National Objectives, Directives and the Principles of State Policy of the Uganda Constitution, 1995. The Foreign Policy objectives of Uganda, inter alia, provide that: “(I) The Foreign Policy of Uganda shall be based on the principles of: ... (e) Opposition to all forms of domination, racism and other forms of oppression and exploitation.” (annex 4)

    31. The NRM Government has taken a number of legal and administrative steps to remedy the effects of racial discrimination which were perpetrated by Amin’s military regime in 1972 when the Government expelled large numbers of persons of Asian origin and expropriated their properties. Many former owners could not repossess their properties, however, due to insecurity and lack of proper administrative measures at that time.

    32. On its accession to power in 1986, the NRM Government not only upheld the Expropriated Properties Act of 1982, but also took practical measures to ensure that the former Asian owners repossessed their properties.

    33. The legal, administrative and practical steps the Government has taken to eliminate racial and ethnic discrimination are illustrated in the specific implementation of the principles of articles 2 and 7 of the Convention as discussed hereunder.

    Government institutions that promote and protect all people from all forms of racial discrimination: The Uganda Human Rights Commission

    34. Article 51 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda creates the Uganda Human Rights Commission with quasi-judicial functions.

    35. Under article 53 (1) and (2) of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda the Commission is given the powers to:

    (a) Investigate on its own initiative or that of an individual or group of persons any complaint regarding the abuse of human rights;

    (b) Release a detained or restricted person;

    (c) Pay or order the payment of compensation;

    (d) Any other legal remedies or redress.


    Article 2

    36. Article 21 of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, provides, inter alia, that “All persons are equal before and under the law in all spheres of political, economic, social and cultural life and in every other respect and shall enjoy equal protection of the law.”

    37. The Constitution further provides that “... a person shall not be discriminated against on the grounds of sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, tribe, birth, creed or religion or social or economic standing, political opinion or disability”. The exceptions permitted to the above provisions conform to those provided for in article 1, paragraphs 2 to 4, of the Convention.

    38. Pursuant to article 21 of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, the Government of Uganda has taken a number of measures to ensure that no act or practice of racial discrimination occurs in the country. In its mobilization programmes through Political Education schools such as Kyankwanzi, the NRM Government has reformed the attitude of the masses from parochial and ethnic interests to national unity and Pan-Africanism. The political education programmes have tremendously reduced racial and ethnic prejudices among the population.

    39. The spirit of equal opportunities for all races is also reflected in the political objectives of the 1995 Constitution which, inter alia, provide that “All the people of Uganda shall have access to leadership positions at all levels ...”.

    40. Article 165 of the same Constitution creates the Public Service Commission, which is directed to adhere to equitable employment criteria as enunciated in the Public Service Act and Public Service Regulations made thereunder. The principle has been equitable employment adopted by other service commissions and statutory enterprises. Consequently, Uganda has a multiracial workforce in both the public and private sectors.

    41. In conformity with its foreign policy of respect for international law and treaty obligations, and upholding the Constitution, which unequivocally prohibits racial discrimination, the NRM Government does not sponsor, defend or support racial discrimination and racist organizations both inside and outside Uganda and abroad.

    42. In 1972, President Idi Amin’s regime legalized the expropriation of assets of Ugandans of Asian origin. This was, to all intents and purposes, a manifestation of racial discrimination. Under the Immigration (Cancellation of Entry Permits and Certificates of Residence) Decree, 1972, Idi Amin’s Government expelled, en masse, people of Asian origin from Uganda. Their properties were expropriated without compensation under the Declaration of Assets (NonCitizen Asians) (Amendment) Decree, 1972.

    43. In 1982, the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) Government enacted the Expropriated Properties Act (1982) to provide for the transfer of properties and businesses expropriated during the military regime of Idi Amin to the Ministry of Finance and return such properties to the former owners. Although this was a positive measure aimed at creating racial harmony, the Act was not fully implemented. Some attempts at compensating the former Asian owners were marred by corruption and bribery which discredited the scheme.

    44. In 1986, the current Government provided great impetus to the process of repossession and compensation with respect to properties of Asians. Not only did the Government enact laws to create a concrete mechanism for repossession, but also created a secure environment and policy assurances for the process.

    45. In 1991, the Minister of Finance made the Expropriated Properties (Repossession and Disposal) (Amendment) Regulations, which created the Verification Committee for the purpose of verifying claims of the former Asian owners. In 1993, the Minister further made the Expropriated Properties (Repossession and Disposal) (Amendment) Regulations, which established the Custodian Board Divestiture Committee to dispose of unclaimed properties.

    46. As a result of these legal innovations, the number of Asian applications for compensation rose to 626 by December 1996. Those properties which had been sold and the former owners compensated were by 21 August 1996 valued at US$ 3 million. Due to the improved security situation and the liberal economic policies of Government, the Asian community has undertaken heavy investments in Uganda.

    47. In addition to the elaborate safeguards in the Constitution against racial discrimination by persons, groups or organizations, the National Resistance Council - the then legislative organ of the NRM Government - enacted the Penal Code (Amendment) Statute No. 9 of 1988, to prohibit and punish sectarianism. Section 42 A of the Penal Code Act, chapter 106 of the Laws of Uganda, provides that:

    “(1) Any person who prints, publishes, make or utters any statement or does any act

    which is likely to:


    “(e) Degrade revile or expose hatred or contempt;

    “(f) Create alienation or despondency of;

    “(g) Raise discontent or disaffection among or;

    “(h) Promote in any other way, feelings of ill-will or hostility among or against

    any group or body or persons on account of religion, tribe or ethnic or regional origin, commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.”

    48. These penal provisions illustrate the NRM Government’s commitment to prohibit and bring to an end racial discrimination.

    49. The Government of Uganda operates under the “Movement” political system which, under article 70 of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, is broad based, inclusive and non-partisan and ensures accessibility to all citizens without any form of discrimination. The political institutions of Uganda such as Parliament, the executive, the judiciary and local government are composed of people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds in Uganda. The Government continues to emphasize that its composition should be broadly representative of the national character and social diversity of the country. The National Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy provide, inter alia, that:

    “(i) All organs of State and people of Uganda shall work towards the promotion of national unity, peace and stability.

    “(ii) Every effort shall be made to integrate all peoples of Uganda while at the same time recognizing the existence of their ethnic, religious, ideological, political and cultural diversity.

    “(iii) Everything shall be done to promote the culture of cooperation, understanding, appreciation, tolerance and respect for each other’s customs, traditions, and beliefs.”

    50. Ethnic and racial integration is also pursued through nondiscriminatory national movements of various population categories such as youth, women and the disabled.

    51. At the international level, Uganda continues to encourage relations among various national institutions and organizations and their counterparts abroad.

    52. Article 21 (4) of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda empowers Parliament to enact laws “that are necessary for implementing policies and programmes aimed at redressing social, economic or educational or other imbalance in society”.

    53. Article 32 (1) of the Constitution provides, inter alia, that “... the State shall take affirmative action in favour of groups marginalized on the basis of gender, age, disability or any other reason created by history, tradition or custom for the purpose of redressing imbalances which exist against them”.

    54. The effect of these provisions is that Government created the Karamoja Development Agency in 1989 to uplift the status of the people of Karamoja. The Northern Uganda Reconstruction Programme (NURP) was established in 1991 to rehabilitate the areas of northern Uganda whose people have experienced hardship as a result of numerous wars and lack of attention by the previous undemocratic regimes.

    55. Article 37 of the 1995 Constitution of Uganda preserves the right of a group of people or race to preserve and promote their cultural values. According to article 37, “Every person has a right, as applicable, to belong to, enjoy, practice, progress, maintain and promote any culture, institution, language, tradition, creed, or religion in community with others.”

    56. In addition, the 1995 Constitution permits the institution of cultural leader for the people who wish to have it. Article 246 (1) provides that: “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the institution of traditional leader or cultural leader may exist in any area of Uganda in accordance with the culture, customs and traditions or wishes and aspirations of the people to whom it applies.”

    57. The promulgation of the Expropriate Properties Act, 1982 and the repossession and compensation of properties belonging to Asians expropriated by Amin’s regime in 1972 may also be seen in light of a measure extended to protect certain racial groups and individuals belonging to such groups. The Government encourages ethnic and racial associations formed for the purposes of promoting solidarity among the individuals belonging to them and to assert their interests collectively. For instance, the Ugandan Association of Asian Communities is recognized by Government and other public institutions.

    Article 3

    58. Since it assumed power in 1986, the NRM Government has strongly condemned all practices of racial discrimination and apartheid. The Constitution, in article 21, prohibits discrimination of any person “on the grounds of race, colour, ethnic origin, tribe, birth, creed ...”. As stated above, the Penal Code Act of Uganda creates the offence of sectarianism.

    59. Between 1986 and 1994, when South Africa gained its independence and ceased to practise apartheid, the NRM Government unequivocally and consistently condemned apartheid in South Africa and provided moral and material support to the African National Congress (ANC) and the Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC). Up to 1994, Uganda had no diplomatic relations until South Africa majority rule was established in 1994.

    Article 4

    60. Pursuant to general recommendation I of 1972 and decision 3 (VII) adopted by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Ugandan Parliament (the NRC) in 1998 amended the Penal Code Act to create the offence of sectarianism.

    61. This section imposes a term of imprisonment of five years on “Any person or group of persons who prints, publishes, utters or does any act which degrades, exposes to contempt, creates alienation, raises disaffection or promotes illfeeling among or against any group or body of persons on account of tribe or ethnicity.” This penal legislation serves to reinforce the prohibitive character of article 21 (2) of the 1995 Constitution.

    62. The Government of Uganda will submit the text of the Penal Code provisions prohibiting dissemination of ideas based on racial hatred and incitement on the basis of racial discrimination to the SecretaryGeneral.

    Article 5

    63. Article 21 (1) of the 1995 Constitution (1995) provides that “All persons are equal before and under the law in all spheres of political, economic, social and cultural life and in every other respect and shall enjoy equal protection of the law.” Article 21 (2) of the same Constitution prohibits discrimination against any person “... on the grounds of sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, tribe, birth, creed or religion or social or economic standing, public opinion or disability.”

    64. The Constitution further creates safeguards against discrimination before the courts of law. Article 126 (2) of the Constitution provides, “In adjudicating causes of both a civil and criminal nature, the courts shall, subject to the law, apply the following principles: (a) Justice shall be done to all irrespective of their social or economic status ...”.

    65. Security of all persons irrespective of race, colour, national or ethnic origin has been one of the major concerns of the NRM Government since 1986. The TenPoint Programme of the NRM attaches great importance to security for all the people of Uganda. Point No. 2 of the TenPoint Programme states that as soon as NRM takes Government, not only will Stateinspired violence disappear, but so will criminal violence. Given democracy at the local level, a politicized army and police and absence of corruption at the top, as well as interaction with the people, even criminal violence can disappear. Security of persons will hence be restored.

    66. Article 22 (1) of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda provides that “No person shall be deprived of life intentionally except in execution of a sentence passed in a fair trial by a court of competent jurisdiction in respect of a criminal offence under the laws of Uganda and the conviction and sentence have been confirmed by the highest appellate court.”

    67. Under the Penal Code Act of the Republic of Uganda, violation of security of the person, including murder, manslaughter, threatening violence, causing bodily harm, arson, etc., are criminal offences. The Government prosecutes all persons reasonably suspected of committing such offences.

    68. Since 1986, Government has made the security of all Ugandans a priority issue. The NRM Government has ably evolved a disciplined force, which enjoys the confidence of the civil society. Government has integrated into the army and civilian life former rebels of the Uganda People’s Democratic Movement/Army (UPDM), the Uganda People’s Army (UPA), the Holy Spirit Movement, etc. Peace is returning to the areas of Acholi and West Nile in northern Uganda, which were being disturbed by rebels of Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army and the West Nile Bank Front, respectively.

    69. The political objectives of the Government of Uganda as enshrined in the Constitution have ensured that Ugandans of all races, colours and ethnic background participate in elections at all levels. The democratic principles of the Constitution, inter alia, provide that:

    “(i) The State shall be based on democratic principles, which empower and encourage the active participation of all citizens at all levels in their own governance.

    “(ii) All people of Uganda shall have access to leadership positions at all levels subject to the Constitution.

    “(iii) The composition of Government shall be broadly representative of the national character and social diversity of the country.”

    70. Article 59 (1) of the Constitution provides that “Every citizen of Uganda of eighteen years of age or above has a right to vote.” Under articles 78 and 103 of the Constitution, the election of the President and members of Parliament shall be by universal adult suffrage through secret ballot.

    71. Under article 176 (3) of the Constitution, “The system of local Government shall be based on democratically elected councils on the basis of universal adult suffrage ...”. The Constitution and subordinate laws do not exclude any person from participating in elections or governance on the basis of race; procedures were strictly adhered to during the presidential and parliamentary elections of 1996. As a matter of fact, all races and ethnic groups are represented in Parliament, Cabinet and other public institutions.

    72. All the civil rights provided for in article 5 (d) of the Convention are covered under article 29 of the Ugandan Constitution. There is no legal or administrative restriction on the right to leave the country and Government has consistently encouraged Ugandans living abroad to return to Uganda and contribute to the country’s development.

    73. The rest of the civil rights, namely the rights to nationality, marriage, own property, inherit, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of opinion and expression, peaceful assembly and association, have been enjoyed without any restrictions.

    74. Government emphasizes the principle of equal opportunities for all persons in the enjoyment and exercise of their economic, social and cultural rights.

    75. Under article 40 (1) of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, Parliament is enjoined to enact laws:

    “(a) To provide for the right of persons to work under satisfactory, safe and healthy conditions;

    “(b) To ensure that every worker is accorded rest and reasonable working hours and periods of holidays.”

    76. Although Parliament has not enacted the abovementioned laws, Government, through the Public Service Act and the Regulations made thereunder, emphasizes the access of all citizens to all public offices. Government, through the Privatization Unit and the Uganda Investment Authority, has attracted a number of foreign investors who have created employment opportunities for Ugandans.

    77. Article 40 (3) of the Constitution provides that “Every worker has a right to form and join a trade union of his or her choice for the promotion and protection of his or her economic and social interests.” Most professions, including the civil service, have formed trade unions. All trade unions belong voluntarily to a central association, the National Organization for Trade Unions (NOTU), which ensures collective bargaining for all workers. The workers are represented by three members of the National Assembly with a mandate to promote the interests of the workers.

    78. The Government recognizes the right to housing. The Housing Finance Company has been established by Government to provide credit for housing. The National Housing and Construction Corporation under the Ministry of Works, Housing and Communications has been and continues to construct houses for rental and sale.

    79. Owing to the liberal policies of the NRM Government, which have encouraged the operation of market forces, private real estate firms have constructed several houses in Kampala and other urban centres. The current peace and stability in the larger part of the country has encouraged the rural population to construct permanent buildings. It is worth noting that people from all ethnicities and races have benefited from the above policies and initiatives.

    80. Nevertheless, the Government of Uganda recognizes that due to long periods of insecurity, there are certain areas of Uganda, particularly in the northern and the western regions of the country, where economic activities have been disrupted. Armed conflict between the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) and different rebel factions, for example the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), has led to the destruction of infrastructure which in turn has had a negative effect on the welfare and development of the people in these areas. The roads have either been neglected or completely destroyed, particularly the feeder road network in these areas.

    81. The Uganda Human Rights Commission stated in its 1998 annual report to Parliament that in the areas of armed conflict, most agricultural activities for the production of food and cash crops have been completely disrupted, the result being scarcity of food and cash crops and loss of income, which in turn has led to biting poverty and dependence on others for survival.

    82. Due to resource limitations and budgetary constraints, the right to health has not been fully realized. However, since 1986 the NRM, in association with Rotary International and the Ministry of Health, has pursued comprehensive immunization programmes which have reduced the infant mortality rate tremendously. Government is currently encouraging the provision of clean water, domestic hygiene, adequate calorie and protein intake, training of health workers and rehabilitation of dispensaries, health centres and hospitals.

    83. On the other hand, in areas where there is insecurity, for example Gulu district in northern Uganda, the effects of armed conflict have greatly affected access to social services. The Uganda Human Rights Commission stated in its 1998 annual report to Parliament that at least 35 per cent of the people in the districts of Gulu and Kitgum have no access to health care within a practical distance from their homes. The report further drew attention to the fact that several children are malnourished and only a few international agencies are trying to cater for the affected children.

    84. Nevertheless, therapeutic feeding programmes have been in operation in the north and southwest organized by the World Food Programme, UNICEF and the Ministry of Health.

    85. Currently, the State does not have a comprehensive social security policy. The existing form of social security is in the form of pensions and gratuities for workers. These have for a long time been inadequate because of the low salaries. However, a number of pension scales for retired civil servants, teachers, doctors and nurses were revised in February 2001 by the Ministry of Public Service of the Republic of Uganda.

    86. The right to education is guaranteed under article 30 of the Constitution. Government has introduced universal primary education (UPE), whereby four children per family are entitled to free primary education. The implementation of UPE, which started in February 1997, has led to a significant increase in pupils in primary schools from 3 million (before the programme) to more than 5 million. The children who benefit from this programme are drawn from the families of all races and ethnic groups in Uganda.

    87. The 1998 Uganda Human Rights Commission annual report stated that the Gulu District Education Department reported that during 1998, 129 schools with 64,468 pupils and 1,017 teachers had been closed or displaced. These problems stem from the prolonged insecurity in this area.

    88. Under article 37 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, “Every person has a right applicable, to enjoy, practice, progress, maintain and promote any culture, cultural institution, language, tradition, creed or religion in community with others.” Government has encouraged all persons to participate in cultural activities without restrictions in terms of race, colour or ethnic origin.

    89. People in Uganda access all public facilities without distinction as to race, colour or ethnic origin. Racism and racial discrimination are criminal offences under section 42A of the Uganda Penal Code Act.

    Article 6

    90. Article 50 (1) provides for the enforcement of rights and freedoms. Under this article the competent courts are enjoined to give appropriate redress, including compensation, to persons whose rights have been infringed upon. Under section 42A, the courts are empowered to punish the offence of sectarianism with a term of imprisonment not to exceed five years.

    91. Article 51 of the Constitution creates the Uganda Human Rights Commission with powers to investigate complaints of human rights violations and monitor Government’s compliance with international treaty and convention obligations on human rights.

    Article 7

    92. The study of human rights, including lessons to combat racial discrimination, is part of the educational curriculum at all levels of education in Uganda. The human rights component is reflected in the syllabi of civics at primary level, political education at secondary level and human rights law at the university level. The essence of these syllabi is to build a society which respects differences and aims at building a culture of tolerating contradictions in cultural and racial backgrounds.

    93. Uganda’s educational system is deliberately programmed to encourage national unity and ethnic integration. The admission and enrolment procedure at all levels of education ensures that a pupil or a student may apply and gain admission to any school or institution of his/her choice, provided he/she meets the necessary merit criteria. Students are encouraged to go to schools in districts other than their own.

    94. The Government of Uganda through the Uganda Human Rights Commission and nongovernmental organizations convenes and supports seminars, conferences and workshops aimed at sensitizing the public (particularly the youth, women and members of the security forces) on aspects of human rights, including the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

    95. The Government of Uganda permits the formation of associations aimed at ethnic, racial or international cooperation and coexistence. There are a number of interracial and solidarity associations in Uganda, for example the UgandaVietnam Friendship Society, the UgandaGerman Cultural Society, the UgandaCuban Society, the UgandaIndian Association, and several others.

    96. The Uganda Human Rights Commission conducts periodic programmes on human rights education in the State and private media. The educational programmes of the Commission touch on every aspect of human rights. The National School of Political Education at Kyankwanzi and

    all its affiliate programmes in the countryside disseminate information on national unity through their training programmes. The graduates from this school have a nonracial, nonsectarian approach to national issues.

    97. The media in Uganda and particularly the press have contributed a lot to government efforts in disseminating the provisions of human rights instruments to the public in various languages.

    98. The Uganda Human Rights Commission carries out civic education through weekly radio programmes in the following languages: Luo, Runyoro, Rutooro, Runyankore, Rukiga, Luganda and English. The popularity of these programmes is evaluated through the people’s response to them; the 15 minutes paid for by the Uganda Human Rights Commission has been deemed by listeners to be insufficient to cover a topic.

    99. Currently, the Uganda Human Rights Commission publishes a monthly magazine called Your Rights as a forum for human rights, constitutional education and exchange of views on topical human rights issues, which includes the people’s right not to be discriminated against.


    100. The Government of Uganda is working hard to ensure that human rights becomes an integral part of its policies and those of government ministries, organs and institutions.

    101. Government has continued to urge all its citizens to advance a human rights culture in the society by utilizing all opportunities offered by the civil society, the media, the government organs and constitutional commissions to learn their rights and how to defend them.

    102. The Government of Uganda continues to aim at building unity in diversity and discourages the negative culture of intolerance, revenge, prejudice and discrimination on any grounds.

    103. The Government of Uganda hereby renews its pledge to abide by all the articles enshrined within the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

    List of annexes

    1. Background to the Budget 2000/01.

    2. Constitution of the Republic of Uganda (1995).

    3. Expropriated Properties Act (1982).

    4. Expropriated Properties (Repossession and Disposal) (Amendment) Regulations.

    5. NRM TenPoint Programme.

    6. Penal Code Act, Cap. 106.

    7. Uganda Human Rights Commission Annual Report, 1998.

    8. The Uganda Human Rights Commission mandate.

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