Multi-national Corporations Violating Human Rights Under Govt’s Watch – Report


Multi national corporations operating in Uganda are said to be violating human rights under government’s watch, ed a new report has revealed.

In a recent study conducted on the workings of corporations in the extractive sector indicates that communities are concerned about exploitation, order occupational safety, discount land rights and environmental pollution among others.

The study was conducted by the Uganda Consortium on Corporate Accountability in three major mining centers in Moroto, Mukono and Lake Albertine region. Some of the companies cited in the study are Tullow Oil, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).

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“Corporations play both a positive and negative role in the communities within which they operate. However communities highlighted concerns such as exploitation of local miners, failure to provide protective gear and medical care, causing social discord and being sidelined in decision making relating to land acquisition,” states the ‘State of Corporate Accountability in Uganda’ report that was launched Wednesday at Makerere University.

In some cases, the report states, these socio-economic and cultural rights have been violated with the knowledge of the government.

“The exploitation of local miners disregard of the environment, disruption of community life, land grabbing and evictions can be seen as a means by which corporations meet the high costs of doing business in poorer communities,” the report indicates.

It adds; “The government sent soldiers to protect Jan Mangal, Tororo Cement and Dao Africa when communities demonstrated against these corporations protect.”

Government is faulted for lacking political will, tolerating continued violations of human rights and its failure to implement the available laws.

During the third conference on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights held at Makerere University law don Prof. Jean John Barya criticized government’s decision to over liberalization of the economy which consequently saw too many foreign businesses flood the market.

“We opened up so much to the extent that businesses that would be easily done by Ugandans were taken over by Kenya and South Africa. Surprisingly, big multi nationals are able to flout existing laws and get away with it.”

He noted that government has prioritized attracting foreign investment over protection of its citizens.


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