Widows and orphans of people who have died of HIV/AIDS in Kiboga district have appealed for assistance from human rights defenders to pursue legal redress for their right to property ownership.
Over 70 widows and orphans appealed during the meeting with a team of lawyers from Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) at Nabwendo health center III in Muwanga sub-county on Thursday (16 August).
One widow, Margaret Nansubuga, said they continue to witness widespread human rights abuses.
She said that apart from stigma, discrimination and gender based violence the property left behind for widows and orphans is being grabbed by relatives and friends.
Margaret said local leaders have sided with their tormentors as it is alleged they can dish them with bribes.
“Poor as we are, we cannot offer bribes to our local leaders to defend us, as a result we have remained vulnerable. Please, what we request from human rights defenders is help,” she said.
The meeting coincided with the launch of a human rights advocacy project run by HRAPF to strengthen the legal, human rights and policy response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the district.
The project, being implemented in Luwero, Mityana, Mpigi, Nakaseke and now Kiboga, intends to contribute to the empowerment of women and girls infected and affected by HIV/AIDS to protect and defend their rights using the law.
Julius Ssentamu, the project coordinator, said 26 complaints raised during the meeting had been taken over by the lawyers to be freely pursued by them.
Julius said that apart from pursuing court cases, they are also to carry out a district-wide sensitization of widows and orphans on their rights.