Human rights defender profile: Cleopatra Kambugu from Uganda

ISHR was honoured to meet Cleopatra Kambugu, grants administrator at the East African Sexual Health and Rights Initiative (UHAI EASHRI) and transgender activist in Uganda.

Cleopatra was featured in ‘Pearl of Africa’, a movie shown at the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights in Geneva. She spoke to us about the challenges she faces in her struggle to have transgender rights recognised in her country. For more information on UHAI-EASHRI and to support Cleopatra’s work, see


October 2021 – Uganda has recognised its first trans citizen! Congratulations to Cleo and her persistent activism that led to the change in her gender marker in her ID docs. We hope this win will be for the whole trans community in Uganda!

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