By Eddie Ssemakula
Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI), a Kampala based civil society organization, has heightened efforts in tracking Poverty alleviation programs executed by Government.
Speaking at the validation meeting held at Hotel Africana, December 13th, in response to a baseline survey carried out in Namutumba and Bugiri districts, concerning the effectiveness of the Youth livelihood program (YLP), FHRI Deputy executive Director, Ms. Sheila Muwanga, highlighted the organization’s Human Rights based approach as the basis for the survey.
“The Human Rights approach is the best way to overcome poverty” she quipped.
Emphasizing the Human Rights based approach to fighting poverty, Roselyn Karugonjo, a Penal Reform International activist and lawyer, also delivered the justification for the same approach noting.
“The implementation of Human Rights represents standards. We need to be treated with dignity; a good government has to provide basic needs to its people. Poverty is the biggest violation of human rights. “
Between August 22nd and 26th this year, FHRI, with support from Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) embarked on a baseline survey in the districts of Bugiri and Namutumba, with a goal of proposing policy actions for integrating a human rights based approach (in line with international human rights standards.) in government programmes that eradicate extreme poverty. The action follows FHRI’s thematic report titled; “Human Rights and Poverty in Uganda” launched in December 2015.
For the survey, the Youth livelihood program (YLP) was chosen as a programme of focus. The programme intends to respond to the youth unemployment problem that currently stands at 65%. According to a state of Uganda population report. Namutumba and Bugiri are situated in the second poorest region in Uganda, the Eastern region.
Among others, FHRI recommended training of beneficiaries, re-strategizing the recovery process, combating corruption, evaluation of area group sizes, and sufficient facilitation of Community development officers, as a way forward. The participants requested FHRI to carry out empowerment sessions to enable the rights holders and duty bearers maximize the development programmes.
On a whole, FHRI also applauded YLP’s adherence to Human rights based approaches to development highlighting, participation, accountability, inclusion levels, provision of capital, among others called upon the responsible stakeholders to address gaps especially in the monitoring and evaluation process so that the programme achieves its aims and in turn leads to respect of human rights.
Also present at the event were Eastern youth MP, Ms. Anna Adeke, Namutumba and Bugiri Woman legislators, Naigaga Mariam and Agnes Taaka respectively as well as representatives from the MGLSD, CDOs, RDCs, UHRC, beneficiaries from the two districts and NGOs.