Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI) organized the 10th Annual Inter-University Human Rights competition at Uganda Martyrs University Nkozi on 10th and 11th March, with Uganda’s Chief Justice being the Chief Guest.
Through the competition, FHRI seeks to stimulate research, debate and engagement of university students on current human rights issues in order to inculcate a human rights culture and approach into students. The competition enables students to study, research and present papers on topical human rights issues in Uganda to a panel of eminent human rights experts who assess the papers and presentations; and confer awards to the outstanding performers. Eminent experts were drawn from Justice Centers Uganda, Uganda Electoral Commission, Uganda Law reform Commission, Dan Church Aid and media.
During this year’s competition, participants discussed and debated on various human rights issues including electoral democracy, the role of media in democratization; the death penalty; human rights based approach to poverty eradication; land grabbing; case backlog in the judiciary; and gender based violence.
The Chief Guest, Justice Bart Katureebe commended FHRI for this initiative and called upon students to uphold human rights not just for themselves but for others. He said, “be the messengers of hope for this country, go out there and fight for our rights in an inclusive manner to help us actualize an equitable society”. He also launched the “Human Rights Award”, and initiative under the FHRI Human rights competition which will be conferred upon the best students excelling in an undergraduate study on human rights. The inaugural award was offered to the best student in the Bachelor of Arts in Local Governance and Human Rights offered by Nkozi university.
In his remarks, FHRI’s Executive Director, Dr. Livingstone Ssewanyana noted that “the goal here is for students to develop human rights expertise and meet the country’s need. We also intend to create a new generation that abhors human rights vices like corruption, land grabbing, and Impunity. The world cherishes those who appreciate what is right and those who love one another”
Makerere University emerged as winners with a score of 85.4% followed by Uganda Pentecostal University with 77.4% and Uganda Christian University Mukono with 76.4%. The hosts came fourth with 76%. The competition attracted 30 tertiary institutions.
Ms. Sophie Racine, the Component Manager, Rights Justice and Peace at Democratic Governance Facility, (DGF) officiated at the award giving and closing ceremony and affirmed the event’s theme “Our rights, Our Freedoms, Raising the Bar. ”