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HUMAN RIGHTS

Human Rights Projects

Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are interrelated, interdependent and indivisible. When there is violation of the rights of children, legal action can and should be taken. ACO Africa strives to ensure that nobody, not even parents, can violate the rights of a child.

 

Despite the fact that Uganda’s 1995 Constitution protects the rights of all its citizens against harassment or abuse of any kind, the rate of neglect, physical abuse, rape, defilement, sexual harassment and child sacrifice continues to escalate at an alarming rate. Many children are mistreated by their own relatives - sometimes after the death of their parents and sometimes by their own parents or aquaintances. It is not uncommon for children to die from this abuse; others end up with severe illness’ and abnormalities. The mistreatment of children forces some of them to drop out of school, into early child marriage, or to run away from home.

 

ACO-Africa works with the child’s best interests in mind and we strive to see that all vulnerable children are helped to enjoy their basic human rights, contribute to their development and reach their full potential. All activities in this programme are aligned to the basic principles of the rights of the child, as detailed in the UN Convention on Child Rights and the African Charter on Children’s Welfare. In addition, it is reflected in the Ugandan Constitution - Survival, Development, Provision, Protection, Participation, Entitlement and Responsibility Rights.

Child Rights Awareness

ACO-Africa aims to improve knowledge on rights awareness to vulnerable children in schools and communities. We run sessions including basic human rights observance and protection, and reproductive health rights, among others. We also engage communities and caretakers/parents in training focused on child related issues, including child rights, sexual and reproductive health rights, nutrition and parenting skills. The programme works with victims of abuse and we support children suffering from abuse in their homes or a foster home. The programme ensures that children living in a foster home receive education, food, clothing, medication, shelter, and psychosocial care and counseling.

Prison Outreach

There is a great deal of judgement around men and women in prisons but many prison inmates are in this situation due to either ignorance of the law or an unjust court system. Furthermore, the situation in prisons concerning human rights is a great challenge, with the majority of inmates being unaware of their rights or unable to access them. ACO Africa’s joint Prison Outreach Programme with Mityana Uganda Charity aims to create legal rights awareness among inmates - this is the first step in improving the conditions in prisons. We also offer support through counselling sessions ranging from psychological to spiritual counselling, and we provide training on the basic skills needed to survive inside prison and after release. We aim to empower and rehabilitate these prisoners to promote a real change in their lives.

Environmental Rights Awareness

ACO-Africa believes that active protection and advocacy of the environment directly contributes to a happier, healthier community. We strive to promote, protect and reduce the detrimental environmental impacts caused by human activities by raising environmental awareness among communities through education in schools and training for communities. We encourage communities to plant fruit trees not only to obtain fruits but also to improve and protect the environment at a family level. Because such a large percentage of work in Uganda is agricultural, environmental knowledge is crucial to ensure the continuation of food production and jobs in the future.