On 29th September 2016, HRAPF together with its partners under the Consortium on Monitoring violations based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity launched the 2016 Uganda LGBTI Violations Report 2016.
The report is the third in a series of annual violations report that have been produced by HRAPF and the Consortium since 2014. This violations report is a collection of verified violations against persons on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity documented in 2015.
The report is intended to act as an evidence based advocacy tool in bringing to the fore the marginalisation suffered by persons in Uganda that are perceived to be or actually identify as LGBTI. It shows violations as perpetrated by the state actors and non-state actors.
The report uses facts of some of the documented incidents to illustrate the violations. It also has various recommendations to different stakeholders, which recommendations are intended to improve the observance of the rights of LGBTI persons in Uganda.
The key findings in the report are:
1. There were 91 verified cases documented by the different contributing organisations.
2. Due to the fact that some cases have more than one violation, the report documents 171 violations from the 91 cases, an average rate of 1.87 violations per case.
3. Of the 171 violations documented and verified for the report, 78 violations (45.6%) were perpetrated by state actors, while 93 violations (54.4%) were perpetrated by non-state actors. This is unlike previous reports where state actors perpetrated more violations.
4. Although non-state actors perpetrated most of the violations, the Uganda Police Force remains the top individual perpetrator of violations with 64 violations out of the 171 violations (37%). Property owners follow with 40 violations (23.3%).
5. A new violator for this year is the Uganda Registration Services Bureau which denied registration to three organisation simply on the basis of their names which it found ‘undesirable.’
6. Private individuals continue to violate rights of LGBTI persons with impunity as in most cases these actions are implicitly condoned by law enforcement authorities, as the Police usually usually does very little to investigate the cases, and in some cases even condones them. The state therefore remains liable under international human rights laws for failure to protect the rights of LGBTI persons from violations by third parties.
7. Most of the violations against LGBTI persons are fuelled by the prevalent homophobia in Uganda, which continues to make LGBTI persons misunderstood.
8. The nullification of the Anti-Homosexuality Act did not do much to reduce the violations of the rights of LGBTI persons. Perhaps the main change is that non state actors committed more violations that state actors.
The report makes recommendations to the Uganda Police Force and other stakeholders, on how to improve the situation of LGBTI persons.