The Economic, Social And Cultural Rights Conference, One Of The Milestones Marking 50 Years Of The School Of Law

“Celebrating 50 years of Success as We build for the Future” is the theme for the 50-year celebration of the School of Law.

One event that was convened to celebrate milestone achievements at this time of the School of Law was the 5th Conference on Economic, social and Cultural rights held in the Main hall of Makerere University on the 19th and 20th of September 2018.

Organized and hosted by the Public Interest Law Clinic, School of Law and other partner organizations, this was the 5th in a row of the annual conferences that provide a forum to deliberate on issues of national importance in as far as the issues of people’s social and Cultural rights are concerned. 

The Conference brought together representatives from Government, Agencies, NGOs’/CBOs, members of the academia, representatives from Diplomatic missions, the business community, students and the general Public. 

The key note address was delivered by Ms. Kagwiria Mbongori, the Chairperson of the Kenya National Commission on human Rights under the topic: “The Relationship between SDCs and ESCRs and the role of National Human Rights Institutions.

The other speaker was Ms. Nicole Bjerler, the Deputy Country Representative United Nations Office of the high Commissioner for Human Rights who spoke on Human Rights based approach to the Implementation of SGDs.

The DVC Academic Affairs, Prof. Ernest Okello Ogwang while noted that Makerere University Makerere University as a research hub was proud to host the event whose topic was “Leaving No One Behind” under the Theme: Leveraging SDGS to Realize Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCRs) 

He said the subject was cross cutting in all academic disciplines and the forum would offer a good ground for scholars and the students to access well thought out information and knowledge applicable to their respective Disciplines.

“Every nation in the world is shaped by a particular world view and this world view is what becomes the soul of that nation. In Architectural science we call this a blue print.  The blueprint paints a picture of what the final product will be and the work of the construction team is to work towards that.  Universities in many ways create this blueprint of aspirations for nations. They do this through influencing the policy direction and becoming a hub for ground-breaking and progressive research. They are responsible for training citizens to be trusted managers and stewards of the countries resources to benefit every citizen.” He said

This Conference, he said, presents a perfect opportunity for Makerere University to once again play a leading role in the sensitization of the citizenry on the Sustainable Development goals and how these goals then can best be achieved without losing anyone on this path, thus the theme “LEAVING NO ONE BEHIND”.  

While addressing himself on the Theme of the Conference, Dr. Christopher Mbazira, Principal School of Law and Coordinator PILAC said the conference was a special one because the School of Law was celebrating 50 years of existence.  He said the School began as a Department in 1968 under the Faculty of Social Sciences with 17 students and that to date, a lot has been achieved.  

‘This Conference is a big achievement being a product of the Public interest Law Clinic of the School of Law, said the Principal, adding that the celebrations would also be used to strategies for the next 50 years.  He said the conference was one of the major achievements since it positions the School of Law as a think tank to deliberate on issues that result into tangible practical benefits and actions more so because Uganda was positioned as one of the countries taking lead in the implementation of the SDGs.  

He said for the 5th time now, these conferences have been convened to deliberate on issues of rights and that this has helped the School of Law and Makerere University as a whole to build a student’s body cognizant of Economic, social and Cultural rights thus contributing to building national consensus.

Prof. Mbazira said presently, they were working on a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights, working with Local Governments on Human rights-based approaches towards service delivery as well as deliberating on a number of other legal and policy frameworks on these rights.

The Conference was co organized by the School of Law, PILAC, SHUREA, FRA, EOC, ISER among others.