The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) is an independent institution established by Article 51 and mandated by Article 52of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, to monitor, report, and investigate compliance of the State to international treaty and convention obligations on human rights.
In the circumstances of inadequate institutional and budget capacity, the opportunity exists in the constitutional mandates and powers of the UHRC as articulated in Article 52 and 53 .
Essentially, right to food capacity building platforms need to be strengthened and streamlined into the education curriculum, using a collaborative approach involving the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), Parliament, the Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development (MFPED), Civil Society and other ministries represented on the ad hoc UFNC.
[22.] UHRC (Uganda Human Rights Commission) Towards the Implementation of the Human Right to Adequate Food in Uganda, Kampala, UHRC, 2004.
[23.] UHRC. 10th Annual Report to the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda, Kampala, Uganda Human Rights Commission, 2007.
In: UHRC, Towards the Implementation of the Right to Adequate Food in Uganda.
Augustine Kibwota, relying on Article 52(1)(a) of the Constitution, (12) filed a complaint before the UHRC, Gulu regional office, (13) on behalf of his son, Omony Charles, the complainant, who had been arrested from a primary school and detained in an unknown place by the UPDF soldiers.
The UHRC found that all the evidence adduced by the complainant was not disputed by the respondent.
The UHRC ruling shows that the Uganda Peoples' Defence Forces soldiers, who, under the Constitution (61) and the Uganda Peoples' Defence Forces Act, (62) are supposed to be disciplined and foster harmony between the defense force and the civilians and also protect the sovereignty and integrity of Uganda, failed in their duties when they violated the complainant's right to freedom from torture.
One would have to be optimistic in the extreme to think that the UHRC decision will deter military officers from torturing children in the future.
(67) The ruling also highlights one important issue: that the UHRC will not insist on medical evidence where there are credible witnesses in support of the complainant's allegations that he was tortured and also where there are scars on the victim's body to corroborate his torture allegations.
The UHRC awarded him 18 million Uganda shillings in both exemplary and general damages, in finding that the complainant's right to freedom from torture was violated, the UHRC relied on the Convention against Torture and the African Charter on Human and Peoples" Rights.