The UN Human Rights Council once again reaffirms its commitment to combating discrimination and violence on the grounds of SOGI, and reminds all States of their obligations towards LGBT and gender-diverse people.
Uganda has accepted 149 recommendations out of the 273 received at its third Universal Periodic Review. During the report of the outcome, Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Marcel Robert Tibaleka, stressed the efforts made by his government to welcome refugees within their borders, as well as the measures taken to better protect people with disabilities. Although those efforts have been commended by both States and civil society organisations, Uganda still needs to fulfill other obligations to comply with the international human rights standards.
The joint statement delivered by ISHR and Women Human Rights Defenders Network Uganda (WHRDN-U) highlighted that the government has shown very little will to change the situation of human rights defenders by noting recommendations on the excessive use of force, the need to combat impunity, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and the 16 recommendations concerning civic space and human rights defenders that were offered by all regional groups. The situation is even more difficult for women defenders working to protect the rights of sex workers and the LGBTIQ+ community. Indeed, Uganda accepted none of the recommendations pertaining to the rights of LGBTIQ+ persons. They are still at risk of facing jail sentences that can go up to life. Moreover, Uganda only noted recommendations on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.
Therefore, ISHR calls on Uganda to :
- Adopt the Human Rights Defenders Bill and ensure it is gender-sensitive to give full force and effect to the UN resolution on the Protection of women defenders and the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders
- Publicly affirm the legitimate role of women defenders and protect them from violations by State and non-State actors by acknowledging such violations and implementing security measures for them
- Finally, refrain from criminalising the legitimate activities of defenders including women defenders, and repeal all laws and policies that restrict their activities and rights, including the Public Order Management Act, the Anti-Pornography Act, Anti-Money Laundering Act, Anti-Terrorism Act ( as amended), and the Computer Misuse Act.
Over 1000 civil society organisations from 134 States and Territories delivered a joint global statement calling for the renewal of the mandate of the UN Independent Expert on violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The 71st online session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights was held between 21 April and 13 May 2022. This session addressed the impact of crises on the achievement of human rights on the continent and post-Covid-19 reconstruction.