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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Foundation For Human Rights Initiative

"Uganda is a country of contradictions." - Dr. Senwanyana
On Friday the 5th the Drake and MUBS team attended a meeting at the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative. Many different issues were discussed by Dr. Livingstone Senwanyana, including issues of democracy and development where Dr. Senwanyana remarked, "democracy goes hand in hand with development."
We spent some time discussing various issues of human rights and factors of sustainable development, such as the elections, the primary government institutions, agriculture, 83% unemployment, prisons, abuse, women's challenges "despite affirmative action", a police force that has yet to "do their job free of corruption" as well as some of Dr. Senwanyana's own personal challenges involving the government. Through a few bold quotes and an afternoon of dynamic learning, Dr. Senwanyana summed up the meeting and left students, and professors, with something to really think about.


  1. As an LPS major, I absolutely loved listening to Dr. Livingstone's brilliant commentary on the state of human rights in Uganda. During our discussion I was thinking a lot about the difficult balance between cultural practices and universal human rights. Certain issues such as FGR are seen as inhumane and oppressive by the majority of the outside world, however, to certain cultures within Uganda this practice is seen as part of their lifestyle. The corruption in the government prevents any serious progress in the human rights field from being made. Although Uganda is party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and signatory to the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, it is clear they are not complying with many of the provisions they agreed to. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights lacks an enforcement agency so international bodies are not going to help in these issues. Recognizing the basic human rights of citizens is necessary for sustainable development but the corrupt government as well as certain cultural values prevent the Ugandan people from accessing their basic human rights.

  2. Question for the seminar: What is one of the most prominent human rights issues you have experienced, through your own observations and interactions, while here in Uganda?