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Rights activists want govt to address marginalized poor

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Thursday, 18 September 2014 - 9:39am

Rights activists want Government to address the underlying causes that drive the less privileged into marginal areas such as road/railway reserves, wetlands and streets

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By Cecilia Okoth

Rights activists want Government to address the underlying causes that drive the less privileged into marginal areas such as road/railway reserves, wetlands and streets.


The activists argue that economics Social and cultural rights which form a greater basis of a person’s livelihood, have for a long time not been neglected.

The Constitution of Uganda in the Bill of rights provides for political and civil rights but does not do the same for economic, social and cultural rights which are somehow contained in the national objectives and directive principles but are not justiciable.

“Despite economic developments we see in the city, the rights of the poor are being infringed on,” said Christopher Mbazira, an Associate Professor at Makerere University School of law.

 Mbazira made these remarks at a media briefing held at the Human Rights Network (HURINET), ahead of a two day National Conference on Economics, Social and Cultural rights.

He condemned the manner in which the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) evicted the hawkers from the city saying it is a breach of their rights, adding that there must some form of balance between people’s livelihood and development

“Develop the city but ensure that in the process, human dignity is maintained. The Government should consider building low cost structures (houses) that the less privileged can afford and tackle famine in Karamoja that is prompting the children of that area to flood the streets of Kampala.” Mbazira said.

Uganda, he said, is also signatory to a number of international instruments on economic social and cultural rights and therefore should adhere to them. 

The conference set to take place at the Makerere University main Hall is also organized by HURINET, Public Interest Law Clinic, the Initiative for Social and Economic rights and Social justice in health.

Mohamed Ndifuna the Executive Director HURINET said the two day workshop will give an appraisal of the economic, social and cultural rights.