HRAPF’s IDAHOT Statement

By hrapf
In May 17, 2018
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PRESS STATEMENT ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA, TRANSPHOBIA AND BIPHOBIA (IDAHOT)

17 May 2018

 

LET US END HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS OF PERSONS BASED ON THEIR SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND/OR GENDER IDENTITY IN UGANDA

Every year on the 17th of May, the world celebrates the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. This date was chosen in commemoration of the day on which the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from its International Classification of Diseases in 1990.

The major objective of commemorating this day is to draw attention to the rampant prejudice and violations against Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender persons and Intersex (LGBTI) persons. This prejudice has always been a widespread phenomenon, fueling the inherent discrimination and marginalisation of LGBTI persons.

In Uganda, consensual same-sex relations are still criminalised with up to life imprisonment. Recent attempts to increase the punishment for what was regarded as ‘aggravated homosexuality’ to death were not successful, and the resultant Anti-Homosexuality Act 2014, was later nullified by the Constitutional Court on the basis that it was passed without the constitutionally mandated quorum in Parliament.

The continued criminalisation of consensual same-sex relations fuels rampant homophobia and gives a cloak of legitimacy to violations against LGBTI persons. Every year, HRAPF and partners publish reports of violence and other violations based on persons’ real or imputed sexual orientation or gender identity. In 2016, there were 183 recorded and verified violations of rights based on real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity arising out of 57 cases. Most of these violations were perpetrated by state actors (51.4%), with the Police alone accounting for 35% of all violations, while non-state actors were responsible for 48.6% of the violations. Most of these violations even when reported to the Police go uninvestigated and unpunished. LGBTI organisations continue to operate underground, and many service providers including in the health sector continue to discriminate in provision of services to LGBTI persons, despite the 2014 Ministerial Directive on Access to Health Services without Discrimination, 2014

This year’s theme for the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is ‘Alliances for Solidarity,’ shows the need for all groups and persons to work together to combat discrimination in all its forms, regardless of who it is targeted against. Discrimination against anyone should be a concern to each one of us.

Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) therefore calls upon all persons as well as state institutions mandated with the preservation of law and order and protection of human rights to continue reaching out and supporting LGBTI persons and combatting all forms of discrimination and violations against all persons.

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