Role of European Union (Eu) Diplomatic Missions in Promoting Human Rights Defenders in Uganda
Author: AKURUT VIOLET ADOME
Supervisor: Susan Kijjagulwe
The aim of this study was to examine the role of European Union (EU) Diplomatic Missions in promoting human rights defenders (HRDs) in Uganda. The study sought to achieve the following objectives: to find the activities of EU Diplomatic Missions in the promotion of human rights defenders in Uganda; to assess the impact of EU Diplomatic Missions on the promotion of human rights defenders in Uganda; and, to identify the challenges faced by EU Diplomatic Missions in the promotion of human rights defenders in Uganda. The study was carried out in EU Missions in Uganda, selected NGOs, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The choice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was rationalized by the fact that it was the custodian of Diplomatic Privileges. The use of diplomatic missions is due to the reason that these missions are the donors for HRDs.
A qualitative design using case study approach was used in the study. The case study approach was useful in bringing an understanding of the role of EU Missions in promoting HRDs in Uganda through detailed contextual analysis of the situation elsewhere. The research instruments that were applied in data collection were questionnaires and interviews. Data was analyzed qualitatively. All data was compiled, sorted, edited and coded to have the required quality and completeness and was analyzed according to the research questions in chapter one.
The study established that most Diplomatic Missions were undertaking bilateral agreements as the activities for promotion of HRDs. Funding NGOs and education of HRDs were the main activities carried out by EU Diplomatic Missions. The study found that EU support programs had increased sensitization on atrocities abated on HRDs and increased knowledge about protection mechanisms. Prosecution of offenders had been increased due to EU support. The study found that EU Diplomatic Missions had various challenges in its work including; political interference, binding bilateral agreements, diplomatic tension, and the difficult legal environment faced by HRDs.
The study concluded that EU Missionís programs had positively impacted the operations of HRDs especially through financial support.
The study recommends that the EU Missions should continue the financial support, simplify the process of accessing funds; The HRDs should be allowed to determine the activities to be funded and the EU Missions should encourage HRDs to have a security strategy and measures at the organizational level.