Human Rights Council - 50th Session, Item 6
Outcome of the Universal Periodic Review – Uganda
Federation for Women and Family Planning
Thank you, Mr. President,
The Federation makes this statement on behalf of the Uganda LBQ Loose Network, a collective working towards increasing the voice and visibility of lesbian, bisexual and queer women in advocacy, feminist leadership, and women’s rights in Uganda, CREA, the Coalition of African Lesbians and the Sexual Rights Initiative.
We regret that Uganda did not accept any recommendations on the rights of LGBT persons. Uganda continues to criminalize consensual same sex relations and due to this criminalization, the LGBT community experiences discrimination and various forms of violence by State and Non-State actors alike, such as online violence, sexual and gender-based violence and harassment, raids and mass arrests at various LGBTQ crisis shelters. These arrests are marked by police brutality and the humiliation of victims.
COVID-19 has exacerbated heightened economic, sexual and gender-based violence against LBQ women, but without access to stimulus packages, redress or remedies. Additionally, under the guise of enforcing Standard Operating Procedures against COVID-19, the government orchestrated a clamp down on civil society, activists, and LGBTQ persons. Arresting them on claims of violating lockdown regulations.
Finally, LBQ women continue to face sexual harassment in the world of work. Harassment is rife, undocumented and unreported. LBQ women struggle to report sexual harassment due to sexual orientation not being a protected ground of discrimination and not read into protections on the basis of sex and gender. Additionally, the risk of being outed which has serious material and social consequences, poses a barrier to reporting.
We thus urge the government to urgently:
- Fully decriminalize consensual same sex relations
- Enact legislation to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity as a protected ground in the Labour Act
- Mandate human rights training for law enforcement centered around the rights of LGBTQ persons
- Ensure legal protection of all persons from sexual harassment in the workplace.
- Meaningfully engage LBQ women in policy-making processes.
- Ensure legal protection for all victims of SGBV
- Uphold the right to privacy for all persons including LGBTQ groups and persons