Background info

Background

The recommendations in this database are recommendations that Uganda has received from the International and Regional human rights monitoring mechanisms, including the Treaty Bodies, the Universal Periodic Review, Special Procedures, the African Commission on People and Human Rights and the Special Rapporteurs of the African Commission. The database also contains recommendations from the Uganda Human Rights Commission, as provided in its annual reports to parliament.

Brief Background the human rights mechanisms:

Treaty Bodies:

The human rights treaty bodies are committees of independent experts that monitor implementation of the international human rights treaties. Each State party to a treaty has an obligation to take steps to ensure that everyone in that country can enjoy the rights set out in the treaty. The monitoring carried out by the committees is done through concluding observations that are a set of recommendations to the state for improving its implementation of the rights in a specific treaty. The recommendations are based on state reports submitted by the state as well as alternative reports submitted by other stakeholders such as civil society or national human rights institutions.

There are ten human rights treaty bodies composed of independent experts of recognized competence in human rights, who are nominated and elected by State parties. Each treaty body monitors a specific treaty with the exception of the Convention against Torture that has two committees.

Human Rights Committee (CCPR) monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) and its optional protocols;

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966);

Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) monitors implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965);

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979) and its optional protocol (1999);

Committee against Torture (CAT) monitors implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (1984);

Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) monitors implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and its optional protocols (2000);

Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW) monitors implementation of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (1990);

Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) monitors implementation of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006);

Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) monitors implementation of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (2006); and

The Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (SPT) established pursuant to the Optional Protocol of the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) (2002) visits places of detention in order to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Special Rapporteurs:

The special procedures of the Human Rights Council are independent human rights experts, usually referred to as Special Rapporteurs, with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective. The system of Special Procedures covers all human rights: civil, cultural, economic, political, and social. As of 1 July 2014 there were 38 thematic and 14 country mandates.

 

Special Rapporteurs undertake country visits; act on individual cases and concerns of a broader, structural nature by sending communications to States and others in which they bring alleged violations or abuses to their attention; conduct thematic studies and contribute to the development of international human rights standards. They also provide advice for technical cooperation. Special Rapporteurs give recommendations to states at the end of a country visit.

Universal Periodic Review:

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is the most recently established human rights mechanism, it was established together with the Human Rights Council in 2006. The UPR unlike the other mechanisms is based on a principle of ‘peer’ review where member states of the UN review and give recommendations to each other on human rights. The UPR cover all human rights and all UN member states are reviewed. During the review a state can ‘accept’ or ‘reject’ a recommendation. Reviews are held every 4 ½ years in the Human Rights Council, in follow up reviews states are asked to report on how they have implemented the recommendations they accepted and can be given new recommendations.

African Commission on People and Human Rights:

The African Commission on People and Human Rights was established by the African Charter. The Commission was inaugurated in 1987, it consists of 11 experts elected by the African Union Assembly based on nominations from state parties to the Charter.

The Commission is charged with three main functions:

  • The Protection of Human and Peoples’ Rights

  • The Promotion of Human and Peoples’ Rights

  • The Interpretation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Similar to the international treaties, state parties to the African Charter are obligated to report to the Commission on its implementation of the Charter. Based on the state report, reports from other stakeholders such as civil society and national human rights institutions the Commission gives recommendations to the state on how to improve its implementation of the Charter in its territory. Reports should be submitted to the Commission every 2 years.

Special Rapporteurs:

The Commission also has a number of Special Rapporteurs on various human rights themes, these Special Rapporteurs have similar mandates to the international Rapporteurs under Special Procedures. They give recommendations to states, usually in relation to a country visit.