Workshop on Follow-up of UPR Recommendations for Uganda and Tanzania
Franciscans International and the Franciscan Family in Uganda organised an in-country workshop on the UN Human Rights Mechanisms to follow-up on the first cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Twenty-five participants representing seven Franciscan congregations from Uganda and Tanzania, and representatives of local NGOs, attended the two-day workshop in Kampala in November.
They developed and strengthened their understanding of the ‘follow-up of the UPR recommendations’ which proceeds the two countries’ first-cycle reviews in October 2011.
The different sessions helped to develop the necessary skills in human rights advocacy, such as lobbying and monitoring, necessary for the follow-up process of the UPR. Franciscans, partners working at grassroots, representatives of local NGOs, and Government representatives participated in a round table discussion about ensuring the full implementation of the recommendations given to, and the voluntary pledges made by, the Governments of Uganda and Tanzania. The two countries face many similar challenges and the same hope for a better future.
“Thanks to the workshop, the Franciscans working with FI in both Uganda and Tanzania have strengthened their ability to follow-up on the UPR recommendations. The workshop really highlighted the impact that the whole Franciscan Family and FI can have in helping to change the lives of the people we serve through our advocacy work at the local, national and international level,” said Silvia Palomba, FI Advocacy Officer who co-led the workshop with Markus Heinze OFM, FI Regional Director for Europe and Africa.
FI staff also visited Murchison Bay Prison in Kampala, to learn more about Franciscans’ human rights concerns about the prisons as highlighted in the FI UPR report on Uganda. Inmates and correction staff shared about the ongoing issues affecting this low and maximum security facility including: a lack of resources, overcrowding, difficulties in feeding the inmates, and issues affecting the Ugandan justice system in general, such as prolonged remand period and torture.
They also visited neighbouring Kenya to meet with members of the Franciscan Family and the Kenyan FI Coordinator. They discussed the consideration of the 7th periodic report of Kenya by the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, at which Franciscans participated in January 2011, and the forthcoming FI in-country workshop on Water and Sanitation in 2012.