The State Minister for National Guidance Hon. Godfrey Kabyanga has asked stakeholders especially the media to hype the download and use of the newly launched Uganda Human Rights Commission Application (UHRC APP). While launching this App today (November 24, 2022) at Silver Spring Hotel Bugolobi, the minister described it as one of the biggest achievement for the NRM government in terms of service delivery. “We must use internet for business and reporting human rights violations so what you (UHRC) have done is good for government. We want people to report issues of human rights as much as possible because as government we don’t tolerate human rights abuse; that is why we established an independent UHRC and we shall ensure it remains independent in execution of its mandate,” Minister Kabyanga said. He said sometimes people and the media misuse the internet but the launch of the UHRC App creates an opportune moment for people and the media to use their platforms properly by positively reporting and promoting the App.
“There is no better way to provide information to all the people of Uganda than using a facility like the UHRC App that finds everyone in their respective locations all over the country and in fact the whole world at any time the services of the UHRC are needed,” he said.
He noted that government is in the process of developing another satellite to enable the country move away from fiber optical cables to satellite-based internet which will improve the cost and reliability of the internet. He affirmed that government of Uganda is fully committed to supporting the UHRC in executing its constitutional mandate and that he will get in touch with the Ministry of ICT consultants to further develop this App and offer technical support to the UHRC.
The UHRC Chairperson Hon. Mariam Wangadya said the Commission has faith in the benefits that the UHRC APP will bring to its service delivery and to the enjoyment of human rights generally.
“Its real-time information exchange and engagement; the faster lodging of complaints without having to first travel to our offices; the convenience to our clientele; and, noteworthy, its usability by persons with hearing impairments; all give us the confidence that our service delivery will improve. Human rights remain fundamental on and offline,” she said.
She said it is a fact that new technology has been embraced more by the youth, many of whom still need support and facilitation to fully utilize the resources. So Government needs to provide the Commission with the adequate resources required to meet the high costs of maintaining, updating, supporting and publicizing the UHEC App and the other internet-based resources.
“We are looking forward to ensuring that internet resources such as this UHRC App truly become new opportunities for citizens to share information and ideas, participate in public life and defend their rights. We hope the App can effectively support the work of intermediaries such as human rights defenders, the media, justice professionals, law enforcement officers and other duty bearers to actualize enjoyment of human rights for all,” she said. She further noted that since the theme of the day was ‘Just Click’ everyone should just click this link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.uhrc.hre and have the UHRC App on their phone. The App also has QR Codes that can be scanned by anyone with a compatible phone to access it. The development of this App was supported by the Germany Agency for International Corporation (GIZ). The Germany Deputy Ambassador to Uganda Hans Von Schroeder said strengthening human rights is at the heart of agenda 2030 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This calls for use of digital tools for inclusion, participation of society and to leave no one behind so the UHRC App is a step in the right direction. He said the Germany stands ready to continue supporting UHRC towards digitization for human rights.
“I encourage everyone following us today to download the UHRC App and make the best possible use of it,” he said.
The UHRC Director Research Education and Documentation Mr. Byonabye Kamadi said the UHRC App doesn’t limit on what type of complaint is supposed to be filed through it.
“All manner of complaints can be received through this App but of course we have the admissibility criteria we follow to sort out human rights violations which fall within our mandate from others. We also have a referral process where if someone is complaining about labor issues, land among others, that person can be referred to appropriate office or given legal advice,” he said. The App developer Mr. Khauka said the App has a robotic system which can trigger responses to basic questions on the chat and where the answers are not programmed the question will be found by the person who operates and App who will give the answers. He said the App is readily available for android phone uses and will soon be available for IOS and iphone software users. The launch was also relayed live by NTV from 11:00am to 12:45pm.