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Uganda - Universal Periodic Review - LGBTIQ+ Rights - July 2021

Date: July 15, 2021
Country: Uganda
Type: Intl Mechanism Submission
Issues: LGBTIQ+ Rights
Mechanism: Universal Periodic Review
Report Type: Stakeholder Report
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The Advocates for Human Rights submitted a stakeholder report relating to LGBTQI+ rights in Uganda for the 40th session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review. 

Actual or perceived LGBTQI+ individuals in Uganda live in a hostile and sometimes deadly environment. Uganda continues to criminalize homosexualityprohibits same-sex marriage, and does not prohibit discrimination against LGBTQI+ persons in housing, employment, and access to government servicesLGBTQI+ individuals also suffer discrimination in access to health services to their right to educationLGBTQI+ individuals in Uganda are targeted for violence because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, including from Ugandan officials, police, and private individuals. The Ethics and Integrity Minister also proposed imposing the death penalty for same-sex relations, resulting in increased attacks against LGBTQI+ persons. The Ugandan police have arbitrarily arrested individuals on multiple occasions, with the police often raiding locations where members of the LGBTQI+ community met. In 2020, the government began using COVID-19 as pretext for arresting LGBTQI+ individuals and shutting down shelters that accepted LGBTQI+ individuals. Multiple sources report that LGBTQI+ persons are subjected to physical and sexual violence while in detention. In light of these dangers, members of the LGBTQI+ community report they are forced to hide their opinions on sexuality and gender identity, and LGBTQI+ activism has to remain underground. 

The authors of the report suggest the following recommendations for Uganda: 

  • Adopt a moratorium on punishing individuals under Chapter XIV Section 145(a) and 145(c), with a view to repealing the same and decriminalizing homosexuality. 

  • Repeal all sections of the Sexual Offenses Bill, 2019 that criminalize or increase punishments for same-sex relations between consenting adults, impose reporting obligations on family members' of LGBTQI+ individuals, or allow for prosecution of LGBTQI+ Ugandans participating in consensual same-sex relations outside of Uganda. 

  • Investigate all attacks on LGBTQI+ individuals and their community and prosecute perpetrators of such attacks. 

  • Stop pretextual arrests of LGBTQI+ individuals. 

  • Enact laws prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQI+ persons, including in education, housing, employment and access to services. 

  • Take active steps to improve the public's opinion of the LGBTQI+ community with the goal of preventing discrimination and harassment of and violence towards LGBTQI+ individuals.