European Union Human Rights Defenders' award

The heads of mission of the European Union (EU) Member States, the EU Delegation and Norway, are happy to announce Ms. Margaret Arach Orech and Mr. Peter Sewakiryanga, as the winners of the EU Human Rights Awards 2018. The annual European Union Human Rights Defenders' award (EU HRD), now in its seventh year, recognizes the achievements of Human Rights Defenders in Uganda. The 2018 edition of the award ceremony was hosted under the auspices of the Embassy of the United Kingdom of Belgium in Uganda.

Mr. Peter Sewakiryanga is a pastor active against child sacrifice practices. The issues of child sacrifice is a very relevant topic for Uganda, often neglected and receiving too little support and visibility. This human rights defender and his organization, the Kyampisi Childcare Ministries (KCM), provide comprehensive support to the children who were victims of sacrificial practices or who are in danger of falling victim to such practices. This support includes medical and psychosocial assistance we as schooling. Peter has also been active in the anti-trafficking, nationally as well as internationally.

Regarding international trafficking, KCM has been part of the fight against labour and sexual exploitation involving Ugandan adults. For example, in 2017 Peter traveled to Oman to rescue 6 women who were victims of labour trafficking.

In winning this pretigious award, Peter Sewakiryanga and Kyampisi Childcare Ministries (KCM) are recognized for;

  • Advocating against the practice of child sacrifice, ritual mutilations and the trafficking of children in Uganda. KCM has been involved in operations to rescue kidnapped and abused children as well as in efforts to rehabilitate and re-integrate these youngsters.
  • Facilitating medical treatment for reconstructive surgeries both locally and internationally of children who have gone through ritual practices.
  • Cooperating with police and prosecutors to stop internal trafficking of children for sacrificial purposes. For example, Peter and KCM have been working with the Uganda Police to fight against a network of people trafficking children from Mukono to different locations within Uganda where they are mutilated and used for sacrificial practices.
  • Conducting research, raising awareness and providing education in communities affected by child sacrifice to reduce both the demand and supply of children's body parts for witchcraft purposes. Peter has also been lobbying both govt of Uganda and the international community to join the campaign to end child sacrifice practices.

Speaking at the event, both the Ambassador of Belgium to Uganda, Mr. Hugo Verbist, and the Deputy Head of Mission, Mr. Erwin De Wandel, stressed that 'the EU HRU are very important recognition from EU member states and Norway to a local actor whom we believe to be making a vital contribution to human rights in Uganda. Human rights and democracy are embedded in our European project and consequently also in our relation and cooperation with Uganda.'

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