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Uganda’s Anti-LGBTQ Law Is A Grave Assault To Human Rights

Uganda's Anti-LGBTQ Law Is A Grave Assault To Human Rights Uganda's Anti-LGBTQ Law Is A Grave Assault To Human Rights

The signing of Uganda’s Anti-LGBTQ Law is a grave assault to human rights and the Constitution of Uganda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director Flavia Mwangovya said.

It came as a shock to many in Uganda and across the world when President Yoweri Museveni assented to Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023, a law passed by the Ugandan Parliament that criminalizes same-sex sexual acts between consenting adults. The new law has been widely condemned as a grave assault on human rights and the international community has urged the government to protect the rights of LGBTI persons in the country.

Uganda's Anti-LGBTQ Law Is A Grave Assault To Human Rights
Uganda’s Anti-LGBTQ Law Is A Grave Assault To Human Rights.

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 will deeply stifle the fundamental rights of LGBTI people by criminalising their existence and forcing them to live in hiding. Moreover, it is incompatible with Uganda’s international and constitutional obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the East African Community (EAC) treaty. It also undermines the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and violates the principles of non-discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity.

LGBTI people face discrimination, exclusion, and social stigma on a daily basis, making it dangerous for them to take part in public life and enjoy full access to employment, education, healthcare, and other aspects of life. This oppressive law will only exacerbate this situation and create an environment of fear and insecurity for the LGBTI community.Uganda's Anti-LGBTQ Law Is A Grave Assault To Human Rights

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Amnesty International has called on the government to repeal the law and ensure that LGBTI people are free to express their identities and orientations without fear of any form of violence and abuse. The organisation believes that this is the only way to uphold the dignity and human rights of all people in Uganda.

The truth is that criminalizing same-sex sexual acts between consenting adults is an attack on freedom and human rights. As a country, Uganda should move away from these repressive laws and embrace a culture of diversity and equality.

The 2023 Anti-Homosexuality Bill: A Violation of Human Rights

The 2023 Anti-Homosexuality Bill issued in Uganda has the potential to affect the lives of millions of Ugandans and serves as a warning for other countries around the world; without proper intervention, significant human rights violations can be enacted on unsuspecting populations.

The 2023 Anti-Homosexuality Bill imposes a punishment of life imprisonment for same-sex sexual acts and up to 10 years for attempted same-sex sexual acts. It also imposes capital punishment for “aggravated homosexuality”, criminalises the “promotion” of homosexuality, and imposes a punishment of up to 20 years in prison for those that “promote homosexuality” or provide support to those that do so.

These harsh and archaic punishments, while currently existing in Uganda’s Penal Code, do not reflect existing international standards; the punishments implemented through the Anti-Homosexuality Bill are clearly an affront to human rights and a significant departure from the accepted universal freedoms and standards for justice and the rule of law. The lack of proper protections and punishments for these acts, and discrimination against the homosexual population, allows for further human rights violations.

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill serves not only as an affront to the human rights of individuals in Uganda, but also to the international community. Denying basic rights to citizens of this world is a plague that should have been ended years ago, and the 2023 Anti-Homosexuality Bill serves to remind all of us that these injustices still exist today.

The legislation sent back to be considered by Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni, was amended and ultimately signed with much of the original language intact, illustrating the prevalence of outdated and discriminatory laws. By continuing to pass these laws, governments in Uganda and around the world are complicit in the harm caused by them, and it is important that meaningful action is taken against such archaic and oppressive laws.


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