Everyone is entitled to his or her rights without discrimination, but that will never be attained in this world.

As you assume you have a right to do certain things, one may find your rights (actions) infringing on his/her freedom.

Remember a human right is a right that is believed to belong justifiably to every person.

These are moral principles that set out certain standards of human behaviour, and are regularly protected as legal rights in national and international law.

They 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.

Furthermore, article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

However, much as we are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination, we will never fully enjoy them.

For example, you have right to hold your own opinions and to express them freely without government interference, but try and say something negative about someone prominent in government even when it is true, the next thing, you will find yourself in the coolers of Luzira Prison.

People working in the media have the right to freedom of expression and can should be free to criticise the state without fear of prosecution. But how many times have they done that and went scot free?

Remember the Monitor Siege in 2013. What had the journalists done? They were being denied their right to publish articles or information freely. But much as we have the freedom to express our views and beliefs, we have a duty to behave responsibly and to respect other people’s rights.

Public authorities may restrict your right to freedom of expression if they can show that their action has a proper basis in law and is necessary in order to protect health or morals, rights and reputations of other people and prevent disorder or crime.

Last week the Uganda Police Force released a statement saying it has the legal mandate to prevent and detect crime and to preserve law and order. This is reference to the recent reports on how the police has intervened and addressed factional differences within the political parties especially during demonstrations and political rallies.

“While we appreciate the interest of the public in certain aspects of our work, and the freedom the media has in reporting such stories, we insist that such freedom should be exercised responsibly, and facts and events reported accurately,” noted the statement.

In addition, Cap 303 of the Police Act further mandates the Uganda Police Force to protect other rights of individuals, maintain security within Uganda and ensure public safety and order.

However, above all this, one has to keep in mind that every person if free to express his or her self. But clearly, as you have read above, it will ever happen.

This brings me to the most controversial human right of sexual orientation. Is being gay, bi-sexual or a lesbian a human right?

We all have a sexual orientation and gender identity but this varies according to our communities and it affects all of us.

In some countries it may be legally right, in others like Uganda it is illegal. However, Amnesty International believes that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, should be able to enjoy their human rights.

Early this year, President Yoweri Museveni enacted the Anti-Homosexuality Law which proposes a life sentence for certain homosexual acts. But since it was signed, human rights activists and gay activists all over the world have condemned it.

So, at the end of it all, you realize that human rights will never be fully enjoyed.


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