Stakeholders Pledge To Work With The Equal Opportunities Commission To Promote Access To Justice

By hrapf
In April 30, 2013
On News
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On Thursday 25th April 2013, over 30 representatives of Civil Society and other stakeholders including representatives of both local and international human rights organisations, of foreign Embassies and donor agencies met under the auspices of Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) and the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CSCHRCL) to delve into ways in which they can work with the Equal Opportunities Commission of Uganda to address issues of marginalised groups.

The major focus of the meeting was to bring together all organizations working on the rights of marginalised groups with the following specific objectives.

  • To update the stakeholders about the progress so far made in establishing the Equal Opportunities Commission.
  • To lay strategies on how sexual minorities and CSOs working on issues of sexual minorities can work with the Equal Opportunities Commission.
  • To remind stakeholders of the implications of section 15(6)(d)  of the Equal Opportunities Commission Act on the rights of marginalised persons

The meeting derives its background from the case of Jjuuko Adrian vs. Attorney General of Uganda (Const. petition No. 1 of 2009). The case challenges the constitutionality of Section 15(6) (d) of the Equal Opportunities Act, 2007 of Uganda which has the effect of preventing marginalized groups from accessing the Equal Opportunities Commission. The case which was filed in the Constitutional Court by the HRAPF Executive Director Adrian Jjuuko in 2009 was heard in October 2011 but to date the court has not delivered its ruling.

The meeting which was held at Grand Imperial Hotel in Kampala was facilitated by Law and Gender experts from Makerere University and HRAPF.  The meeting’s recommendations included undertaking bold programs to train and educate the whole populace on issues of sexual orientation, and to help people understand minorities, to engage members and staff of the Commission in the battle against pervasive homophobia and filing claims by marginalised groups with the EOC to test whether or not these claims can be handled.  HRAPF and the CSCHRCL were urged to engage with members of parliament, international bodies and local partners on Section 15(6) (d) as it still worries all stakeholders on the plight of marginalised groups in accessing the Equal Opportunities Commission.

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