A new revealing report on persecution and discrimination against Uganda's LGBTI community has been released by the Consortium on Monitoring Violations Based on Sex Determination, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation.
The report refers to 89 verified documented violations in 2014 in Uganda. That was the year the Anti-Homosexuality Act was signed into law by President Museveni and then invalidated by the Courts, six months thereafter, based on the technicality that Uganda's Parliament did not have a quorum at the time of its passage. Many Ugandan LGBTI people fled to Kenya as a result, seeking protection and safe resettlement by UNHCR. A large number of LGBTI refugees in kenya are still waiting for their mandates.
Here are the key findings in the Consortium report:
1. The report verified and documented 89 cases with violations of LGBT rights in 2014.
2. Of these, 47 documented cases with violations recorded by the consortium for this report were perpetrated by state actors and 42 cases by non state actors. I
3. In most cases, the Uganda Police Force participated in the violation of the rights of LGBT persons and also condoned their abuses by third parties.
4. However, there were some instances where the police protected the rights of the LGBT persons in Uganda in the year 2014.
5. The passing of the Anti-homosexuality Act 2014 fueled violations and abuses of rights of LGBT persons in Uganda in 2014.
6. Transgender persons were detained in cells of persons of the opposite gender identity which led to abuse of their dignity.
7. LGBT persons were forced to do medical exams and in some instances their results were revealed to the media.
8. There was increased mob justice against members of the LGBT community by public individuals.
9. LGBT people were discriminated and rejected by their own families and relatives.
10. Homophobia propelled by the media caused violation and abuse of the rights of LGBT violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
The Consortium is a body of organisations engaged in the documentation of violations of the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) persons in Uganda. Its members are: Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF); Rainbow Health Foundation (RHF); and Support Initiative for People with Congenital Disorders (SIPD). Benetech provides technical support to the Consortium and the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CSCHRCL) plays an observer role to the Consortium. The Consortium is chaired by HRAPF, which also hosts the Coordinator of the Consortium.
These reports are intended to support evidence-based advocacy strategies for the rights of LGBT persons. The Consortium aims at establishing an evidentiary record and to createa high quality and sustainable monitoring system of violations based on sex determination, gender identity, and sexual orientation to support advocacy to create positive social and political change. The Consortium supports members to document violations through building the capacity of members.
The Consortium was established in 2014 and is now in its second year.
Several recommendations are made in the report, including that to the Police Force:
Such as to investigate all credible allegations of physical or verbal abuse against individuals on the basis of gender identity or expression and sexual orientation.
And to train Officers on human rights and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in order to reduce unnecessary arrests, detentions and other violations of the rights of LGBT persons.
Here at Africa HRC we have received many direct reports from Ugandan LGBTI people noting that the detention of LGBTI people can be quite lucrative for Police who are often bribed to release gay people in exchange for not formalizing an arrest.
The Report calls on the international community to:
To the International Community to:
Call on the government of Uganda to improve and expand rights for LGBT individuals;
Use quiet diplomacy to sensitise Ugandan leaders on LGBT issues to influence the adoption of non discriminatory legislation against LGBT persons.
Support initiatives aimed at creating public awareness on sexuality, sexual and health rights, and violence and discrimination and those aimed at influencing policy that ensures service provision to LGBT persons in Uganda.
Hold awareness sessions with staff members to sensitize them on issues affecting LGBT Ugandans.
Create partnerships with other organisations to monitor and document abuses of LGBT rights.
THE REPORT CAN BE READ HERE.