By Andrew Visper firstname.lastname@example.org
Summary: Covid-19 is now a universal health challenge spread over 196 countries with devastating consequences on the enjoyment of a wide spectrum of human rights including limited to rights to health, life, work, personal liberty, education as well as the rights to freedom of assembly, association, worship and movements.
The Uganda human rights Commission deeply concerned on effects of Covid-19 on fundamental human rights as well as Civil, political, economic, social, culture and solidarity rights.
According to Dr. Katebalire Amooti Wa Irumba acting chairperson UHRC while addressing the media today at the human rights headquarters said that even though the president issued guidelines on preventive measures to guard against infections and spread of Covid-19 inititiay on 18th March, 22nd March and 24th March 2020, the authority to implement directives must stand in act of human rights.
He noted with concern from the media reports of some religious leaders who were arrested in different parts like Kisoro founding conducting prayers and some teacher’s, students found gathered in some schools and those that reportedly returned from Dubai and breached the guidelines issued by the ministry of health on self quarantine.
“I wish to remind the general public that the guideline issued by the government of Uganda in respect of closure of schools, places of worship, bars, markets and restrictions on gathering at wedding and funerals and guidelines by the ministry of health on self and institutional quarantine/isolation. All these are consistent with the provision of articles 23 and 43 of the constitution of the republic of Uganda as well as article 23 (1) quarantees the enjoyment of the right to personal liberty but also outlines circumstances under which one can be deprived of personal liberty which includes purpose of Preventing the spread of an infection or contagious disease” Katebalire Said.
However the public should no that the human rights can be limited for the purpose of public order, public health, public security and public morality.
“Its article 19 of the international covenant on civil and political goes to article 43 of the Uganda Constitution. No one allowed to prejudice the fundamental or other human rights and freedom of others or public interest without trail and any limitations beyond what is acceptable and demonstrably justifiable in a free and Democratic society” Katebalire adds.
Meanwhile the commission advised the government in this period as the country fight for Covid-19, Government should set up effort to respect, protect and fulfill the right of every Ugandan to enjoy their right to health in line with article 12 of the international covenant both with cultural rights.
In regard with Covid-19, the commission advise the security agents to respect human rights as they enforce the government guidelines on Preventive Measures in line with article 221 of the Constitution.
Well as the government respect the human rights, the commission advise the government to pay special attention to vulnerable person’s in line with measurements taken with the aim of addressing the challenge associated with Covid-19 by implementing human rights approach.
The Commission urges the authority and rights holder to exercise maximum restrains and tolerance and to work togather to safeguard the rights of every one during this period as the country still fighting for Covid-19.
The Commission through it’s chairperson remains the general public to address any concern of human rights via the toll free numbers.
1. Head Office 0800100766
2. Jinja Regional Office 0800144201
3. Fortportal Regional Office 0800144202
4. Mbarara Regional Office 0800144206
5. Central Regional Office 0800122444
6. Gulu Regional Office 0800144166
7. Moyo Field Office 0800144209
8. Hoima Regional Office 0800144204
9. Kapchorwa Field Office 0800144205
10. Soroti Regional Office 0800144206
11. Arua Regional Office 0800144207
12. Lira Field Office 0800144208
13. Kaberamaido Field Office 0800144210
14. Kotido Field Office 0800144211
15. Moroto Regional Office 0800144212
16. Kitgum Field Office 0800144214