Thank you, Madam President
Norway welcomes the delegation of Uganda and appreciates the presentation of your National Report.
No matter how challenging the political environment may be, the state always has the primary responsibility for protecting the human rights of all its citizens. Norway is concerned that Uganda in the search for growth and stability has limited the space related to universal human rights, especially the freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Norway strongly recommends the Government of Uganda to investigate and hold accountable police and security officers who attacked human rights defenders, journalists and civilians during the 2011 post-election period. We also recommend that the Public Order Management Draft Bill, be brought in line with Uganda’s international human rights obligations.
Norway commends Uganda for an increased acceptance of women’s rights within their policymaking framework. The Domestic Violence Act is an important step in the fight against domestic violence. We recommend that laws, regulations and plans are followed-up with adequate training and resources. We also recommend amending or reforming other areas of Ugandan legislation where women still face discrimination; Specifically, we recommend the enactment of the Marriage and Divorce Bill.
Norway is concerned that cases of torture by security and law enforcement agencies are frequently reported in Uganda, despite Article 24 of the 1995 Constitution that guarantees every person the right to freedom from Torture, Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment. We recommend the passing of the Anti-Torture Bill and efforts to hold accountable all those committing acts of torture and to ensure timely and adequate compensations to victims.
Norway is concerned about the violation of human rights of sexual minorities in Uganda as constituted by various legal frameworks, in particular the Penal Code Act. We welcome reports in the media that the Cabinet of Uganda has dismissed the proposed Anti-homosexuality Bill 2009 and encourage the Parliament to do the same. Norway recommends the Government of Uganda to fulfill its obligations under international human rights law to decriminalize same-sex relationships between consenting adults and to repeal any laws or reforms that explicitly or implicitly discriminate on any grounds, including sexual orientation and gender identity.