The meeting officially kicked off at 9:30am with an opening prayer from Mr. Francis Ssuubi, the Founder/Executive Director Wells of Hope after which Ms.Doreen Namyalo form FHRI (who was the emcee) gave the opening remarks.
Ms. Biriyai Theophilus the Deputy Country Representative OHCHR addressed participants on the resolution 22/11 that deals specifically with Human Rights of Children of parents sentenced to death or executed and the state’s obligations in such circumstances. She stated that the state is obligated to protect and assist a child whose parent has been sentenced to death or executed, avail information to the child on the whereabouts of a parent on death row, ensure the children visit parents in a child friendly environment and above all put the best interests of the child before any actions.
The Workshop also entailed a Plenary session where all participants reacted to the previous presentations in terms of advice, comments areas of concern.
The First Panel comprised; Ms. Biriyai Theophilus, Hon. Meddie Kaggwa and Mr. Mondo Kyateka, (from Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development) who was the Moderator. Among the main areas of concern was the Prison Visit and the Children’s psychological needs; it was emphasized that the visiting room in the Prisons should be conducive to Children for the visit and that Children should be counseled and consistently monitored. Mr. Mondo Kyateka (from Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development) crowned up this session stating that “shame is a revolutionary statement” meaning that it’s not until people get to openly know what these children are going through that they will act.
Dr Sylvia Nshemerirwe’s contribution was directed towards psychological effects sentencing a parent on death row has on the child. She stressed the need to know; the relationship that existed between the child and the parent, what happens to the child when the parent is sentenced, age of the child and emotional well-being of the child.
Mr. Francis Ssuubi mad Hope and advocated for the following; advice and support to parents and care givers, cooperation with agencies to provide support, create a system where children are protected from risks and policy resolution.
We thank God for the Big turn up of Participants from various Sectors like Justice and Human Rights Organizations that were represented at the Workshop.