By Alice Kabajogya, Human Rights Focal Person, & Francis Musinguzi, KRC
KRC’s involvement in defending and promoting human rights dates back 18years ago. Many times, poor people lack knowledge of the law and as such, they are everyday sufferers and survivors of abuse, land eviction, land grabbing, gender based violence and deprived justice in courts of law.
Our work that started with providing information on radio, in schools and communities and building a human rights knowledge base from the grassroots through interactive radio talkshows, Puppet Theater, school debates, and community awareness has now evolved to providing legal aid to the poor.
Overtime KRC has grown in-house expertise to establish a human rights clinic and that will offer awareness of the law, mediate and counsel persons whose rights have been violated. As a research organization, KRC under the clinic will disseminate research findings on human rights violations with the intent to expose perpetrators and pursue responsiveness of duty bearers.
Through a serialized know-your-rights radio programme known as Engiga ya Kana (meaning Chapter 4 of the constitution Uganda) on KRC FM, our human rights experts create awareness and works with legal experts from Justice Centres Uganda and Uganda Law Society to interpret the law for the citizens. The programme is aired every Tuesday from 8.00 pm to 10.00 pm.
Most human rights violations have been reported on property rights and gender based violence, where KRC found out that most people in Tooro sub region are settled on mailo land owned by Toro Kingdom. In the radio programme, forceful evictions, threats and the burden of land taxes have been reported and poor people’s tenure on land threatened. In some radio talkshows, the Minister of Lands in the Toro Kingdom has been hosted to clear claims of human rights violations and offer explanation to the public about their security of tenure. The Minister has on several occasions allayed these fears, provided the right information and urged settlers on mailo land to seek certificates of occupancy or leasehold tenure titles from the Kingdom Land Board.
As a research institution, KRC is archiving information and sharing it with the citizens to bring about harmony in the region. An inventory of all mailo land, information of restitution of and compensations for properties belonging to the Kingdom, and Toro Land Policy are all available from KRC Resource Room.