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Ugandan Human Rights

By Charles Brookby, III Form

Ugandan Human Rights

Editor’s Note: In The Global Seminar classes, each student wrote a research paper in February and March that was used as the foundation for a 4-5 minute speech presenting an argument (direction and specificity) relating to the following question: How does the global community respond to the abuse of human rights? And how should the global community respond? This speech won the Ely Speech Prize (founded in 1890): an annual competition for Third Formers.

In 1961, a man by the name of Joseph Kony was born. As a child, Kony grew up in Odek, Uganda where he was well educated, and in his adult life became a healer in his ethnic tribe of the Acholi people. As he grew up, Kony was exposed to horrific terror on his people conducted by the Ugandan government at the time. Kony joined an organization known as The Holy Spirit Movement in 1986. He quickly climbed the ranks, and became one the leaders, then ultimately took control and changed the party’s name to The Lord’s Resistance Army. For over 25 years, countries and the UN have been, frankly, oblivious to the horrendous actions of Joseph Kony and the LRA. Ugandan children have been taken, used, and killed at the hands of Kony and his men. Eventually, the International Criminal Court and UN peacekeeping programs have gotten involved in an attempt to stop the LRA. Though progress has been made, the LRA is still active and in power near northern Uganda and neighboring countries, and justice towards their actions has not been dealt. (more…)

The Unfortunate Failures of the International Criminal Court

By Matt Walsh, III Form

The Unfortunate Failures of the International Criminal Court

For advocates of human rights, peace, and equality, the International Criminal Court (ICC) seemed to be an ultimate solution to acts of violence, hatred, and greed. The ICC acts as a court of last resort, prosecuting crimes when national courts cannot. With the ICC, many thought the world could be one step closer to international order. Unfortunately, a lack of cooperation has turned a seemingly revolutionary idea into a lamentable failure. The ICC hopes “that by ending impunity for such crimes, [it] might prevent the occurrence and contribute to the peace, security, and well-being of the world”
(“Law”).  However, The ICC is not a viable and sustainable path to justice because of its inability to prosecute perpetrators from both State Parties and non-State Parties, its historical failure to prosecute major international crimes, and its practice of retributive justice that fails to restore peace. (more…)