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Speech by the British High Commissioner at the Launch of the Parliament of Uganda Human Rights Checklist

Speech by the British High Commissioner at the Launch of the Parliament of Uganda Human Rights Checklist

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Speech by the British High Commissioner at the Launch of the Parliament of Uganda Human Rights Checklist
Speech by the British High Commissioner at the Launch of the Parliament of Uganda Human Rights Checklist

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Published by: African Centre for Media Excellence on Sep 11, 2013
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04/13/2014

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UNCLASSIFIED
British High Commission - Launch of the Checklist for Human Rights ComplianceHotel Africana, Tuesday 10 September 2013Introduction
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Thank you for the warm introduction. The British High Commission is honoured to behere at the Launch of the Checklist on Human Rights.
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I’d like to start by thanking those who brought this checklist together. Particularly theRight Honourable Speaker, The Chairman to the Committee and its members andstaff, the Ugandan Human Rights Commission, Ministry of Justice and ConstitutionalAffairs, Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, the Human Rights Network and UNOffice of the High Commissioner for Human Rights that worked tirelessly to developthis publication.
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I’d also like to thank the Honourable Members of Parliament, Human Rightsorganisations, the press and all stakeholders present today for taking time to be partof this important event.
Importance of Human Rights in Uganda 
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Human Rights and Good governance are essential for the prosperity and security oncountries. Democratic governance and sustainable development cannot take place when people are not able to enjoy their human rights. The Ugandan Constitutionprotects these human rights.
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Parliament has a lead role in protecting and promoting these human rights as set outin Uganda’s Constitution. This involves scrutinising legislation, policy and budgets toensure they are compliant with the Ugandan Constitution.
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Since its establishment the Human Rights Committee has spearheaded this work.They approached us to find a way to help support good quality legislation thatprotects human rights. They wanted to develop a checklist to help Parliament know what to look for in scrutinising legislation.
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The UK was happy to help as part of our work to support Uganda to protect andpromote respect for human rights.
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The idea itself is also similar to a system we have in the UK. For the UK, our humanrights are enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights, which we helpedto draft over fifty years ago. In 1998 the UK passed the Human Rights Act. This gavefull affect in the UK to the fundamental rights and freedoms in the EuropeanConvention on Human Rights.
-It also means that every time the UK Government proposes a new law inParliament, the responsible Minister has to make a statement under theHuman Rights Act about how the new law fits in with the human rights setout in the European Convention. To do this, they use the Human RightsAct as a checklist, to ensure legislation protects Human Rights.-So we know from our national experience that a checklist can be helpful toParliament, Ministries, civil society organisations and individuals.
Human Rights Checklist
UNCLASSIFIED
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