Chairperson, Uganda Human Rights Commission Meeting Members of Parliament on the Human Rights Based Approach and Treaty Body Mechanisms at Imperial Gold View Hotel-Entebbe
On 17th November 2016 the Chairperson, Uganda Human Rights Commission officially opened a meeting for Members of Parliament on the Human Rights Based Approach and Treaty Body Mechanisms at Imperial Gold View Hotel-Entebbe. The meeting was to enhance the participants’ knowledge on the international human rights instruments as well as building capacity in applying a rights based approach during legislative processes.
A human rights-based approach is a conceptual framework for the process of human development that is normatively based on international human rights standards and operationally directed to promoting and protecting human rights. It seeks to analyze inequalities which lie at the heart of development problems and redress discriminatory practices and unjust distributions of power that impede development progress. The framework focuses on those who are most marginalized, excluded or discriminated against. This often requires an analysis of discrimination and power imbalances to ensure that interventions reach the most marginalized segments of the population.
It is important that all institutions apply a human rights-based approach while planning for development programs. Such programs rest on the needs and aspirations of individuals, focusing not on development in general, but on human development. Human rights does not only provide a vision of what development should strive to achieve but it also provides for a set of programming tools and human rights standards and principles that ensure pertinent analysis, focus on important human development goals, ownership by the concerned people and sustainability of development efforts.
Both processes and practices in development change as a result of applying a human rights-based approach. A human rights perspective calls for enhanced attention to the phase of assessment and analysis providing, among others, full understanding of a country’s legal framework, and the factors that create and perpetuate discrimination and social exclusion and hinder people from realizing their potential. A human rights-perspective, therefore, helps us to fully understand how laws, social norms, traditional practices and institutional actions positively or negatively affect people. It may not necessarily change what we do, but it will raise questions about how we do it.
In an effort to promote a Human Rights Based Approach to Development, the Uganda Human Rights Commission developed guidelines to National Development Planning and Programming. These guidelines were developed in pursuit of the Commission’s constitutional mandate under article 51 of the Constitution which is to build a culture of promotion and protection of human rights in Uganda.
The Uganda Human Rights Commission expected that these guidelines would be of great use to planning or programming practitioners, program or project implementers and supervisors, as well as experts or advisors in the area of development planning and policy formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation especially those in government ministries, departments, agencies, and local governments.