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Communique from the 4th Annual Economic Social and Cultural Rights Annual Conference regarding the fracas surrounding the lifting of the age limit

The Public Interest Law Clinic, School of Law successfully convened the 4th Annual Conference on Economic, Social and Cultural rights in the main hall, Makerere University.

In communique issued at the end of the conference, the organizers and participants noted that the conference was conceived as one of the strategies to reinforce the interdependence of human rights both civil and political rights, the first generational rights as well as the social and economic right, the second generation rights. We therefore need to take note of the symbiotic relationship between the civil and political rights and economic social and cultural rights.
They based their stand on the Vienna declaration and plan of action adopted by the United Nations at the World Conference on Human Rights in 1991 that recognizes the interdependence, the indivisibility and interrelatedness of all human rights.

The organizers noted that the rule of law and due process, as well as the freedoms of expression. assembly and association are key in the realization of Economic, social and cultural rights. They urged all actors especially the state to not only respect the economic, social and cultural rights but also defend and uphold the various civil and political rights.

They condemned the approach adopted by Government to deal with those opposed to the lifting of the age limit. The actions of the state have included arrests, shutting down civil society organizations although indirectly and harassing people in various ways.

They urged the state to ensure that the debate regarding the age limit is held in an environment that respects rule of law, human rights including civil and political rights and that it should exhibit respect for the rights for citizens to determine their affairs in the area of governance.

The Security forces particularly the Uganda Police force was urged to desist from partisan politics or actions that appear to oppress those that oppose lifting the age limit. It is only then that we shall be able to build a country for our God.

The conference organized under the theme; Local Government, Devolution and Service Delivery, Achievements, Challenges and The way forward was jointly organized by a number of organsiations that included The Public Interest Law Clinic  from the School of Law Makerere University,(PILAC), Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER), Global Rights Alert, Uganda Consortium on Corporate Accountability (UCCA), the Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA), the Centre for Health Human Rights and Development, CEHURD, Uganda Human Rights Commission

It was supported by other players that included GIZ, SHUREA (Strengthening Human Rights Research and Education in sub Saharan Africa a program of the School of Law, supported by the Finnish Ministry of foreign Affairs, the office of the United Nations Commission for Human Rights, the UN, Open Society, IDRC, Fiedrick Ebert Stiftung among others.