The envoys are in the region as part of their 4-day retreat, which aims to track progress on infrastructural and socio-economic projects that are funded by the European Union and member states. The retreat started on Monday at Mt. Elgon Hotel, Mbale.
Child marriages, the practice of
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and other human rights violations in Eastern
Uganda have dominated discussions between leaders in Eastern Uganda and European
The envoys are in the region as
part of their 4-day retreat, which aims to track progress on infrastructural
and socio-economic projects that are funded by the European Union and member
states. The retreat started on Monday at Mt. Elgon Hotel, Mbale.
Speaking on the sidelines of the retreat,
the Irish Ambassador to Uganda William Carlos said that it was important for
Uganda to pay more attention to protecting the rights of girls and women
especially fighting cultural practices that stop the girl child from accessing
“Access to health services by
women, ownership of property, speedy access to justice in courts of law by the
minority groups continue to be a challenge although there is no perfect
scenario,” he added.
Ambassador Carlos said The
Ambassadors address followed a closed-door meeting with the regional Uganda
Human Rights Commission (UHRC) official, Mbale NGO Forum, Kapchorwa Civil
Society Organization Alliance (KASCOA) and other human rights defenders in
He added that they are looking
for more ways to help communities like in Eastern Uganda where human rights are
severely abused through social evils that deprive humans of their dignity.
//Cue in; “the discrimination that…
Cue out…. for being here.”//
Sarah Nakhumitsa, the UHRC
Regional Human Rights Officer-Soroti told URN that child and forced marriages
continue coupled with delayed justice in Courts continue to be serious
challenges for the population in Eastern Uganda.
Nakhumitsa cited a need for more
Judicial officials to handle the several cases of human rights violations in
the areas of Bugisu and Sebei, among others.
//Cue in; “in this region…
Cue out…of accessing it.”//`
She also pointed out Female
Genital Mutilation (FGM) as one of the cultural practices that were at the
centre of discussions with the European Union envoys.
“Cultural relativism; people
continue to cherish Female Genital Mutilation even after government outlawed
the practice. It is a big challenge because communities think we are against
their culture,” she said, and observed a need for educating the communities
practicing FGM to appreciate its effects so that to stop the vice.
//Cue in; “but in as…
Cue out…violate their rights.”//
The Head of Office of the Austrian
Development Agency, Dr. Roswitha Kremser cited a need for them to work more
with communities where child marriages and other human rights violations happen
to understand their challenges in order to offer the necessary support.
//Cue in; “early child marriages…
Cue out…from them today.”//
According to the UN Children's
agency - UNICEF Uganda is among the 15 worst African can countries with high
numbers of child brides.
Child marriage in Uganda stands
at 49 percent more than the average 39 percent across Africa. Child marriages
occur when people below 18-years-of age including both girls and boys choose to
get married. However, this mostly affects girls.