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Five More Sub-Saharan Countries Act to Protect Girls’ Education; Barriers Remain

(Nairobi) – African countries have taken important steps in recent years to protect the right to education of pregnant students and adolescent mothers, Human Rights Watch said today. Since 2019, at least five sub-Saharan African countries –…
Young mothers at secondary school in Kenya
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Government Should Ratify Landmark Treaty on Workplace Violence

Stella (not her real name) had worked in Mukono as a waitress for about a year and a half and came to the Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA Uganda) in 2019 to seek help because her supervisor was harassing her. What began as “uncomfortable…
Grace Twisimire, 25, sits in her shop selling clothes and plastic shoes in Kampala, Uganda, June 20, 2020.
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Draft Law Criminalizes Consensual Sex, Lets Down Assault Survivors

Update: On August 3, 2021, President Museveni rejected the Sexual Offenses Bill and returned it to Parliament, stating that it covered offenses already provided for in the Penal Code. (Kampala) – Uganda’s Sexual Offenses Bill, 2019 both…
Brenda, a Ugandan transgender woman, was arrested and assaulted by police in the wake of the passage of Uganda’s 2014 Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Activists fear that the passage of the Sexual Offences Bill will similarly lead to anti-LGBT violence.
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Eighteen years ago, in February 2003, Human Rights Watch interviewed Angela P, who was 10 years old when the brutal armed group Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) kidnapped her in northern Uganda. At age 15,  she was forced to become a “wife” to an LRA…
Dominic Ongwen at his confirmation of charges hearing in ICC courtroom I on 21 January 2016 © ICC-CPI.
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Homeless Shelter Residents to Be Compensated After Arbitrary Detention

The High Court of Uganda awarded damages of UGX 5,000,000 (about US$1,340) to 20 homeless gay, bisexual, and transgender people who had been arbitrarily detained and held without access to their lawyers. Their arrests had occurred in response to…
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AfroQueer Podcast Explores Varied Experiences of Coping with Covid-19

AfroQueer podcast recently launched a special episode in advance of its upcoming third season. Checking in with queer Africans on how they are faring during the Covid-19 pandemic, the episode was aptly titled “How are you doing?” The wide…
A Ugandan transgender woman in a town near Kampala, shortly before she fled the country. She left to escape police harassment and violence.
News

Gay and Transgender People Still Detained Under Bogus Covid-19 Pretext

  UPDATE: On May 18, the Nsangi Magistrate’s Court ordered the release of the 19 shelter residents after the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions withdrew charges against them, and they were released from Kitalya Prison the next day.…
Ugandan police and other security forces chase people off the streets, after police cleared a stand of motorcycle taxis which are no longer permitted to operate after all public transport was banned for two weeks to halt the spread of the new coronavirus,
News

Release 20 Detainees, End Arbitrary Arrests

Living in a shelter for homeless people shouldn’t be illegal. But according to Ugandan police, 23 people arrested on March 29 living at a shelter serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Kampala are guilty of “a…
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News

Ensure Security Forces Refrain From Violence, Abuse

(Kampala, Uganda) – The Ugandan government should ensure that its security forces refrain from using excessive force or committing other abuses when enforcing measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Security forces have been using…
Ugandan police and other security forces chase people off the streets, after police cleared a stand of motorcycle taxis which are no longer permitted to operate after all public transport was banned for two weeks to halt the spread of the new coronavirus,
News
It was disappointing to read a recent article by a  senior police officer, Emilian Kayima, in The New Vision blaming women for being victims of sexual violence. Instead of taking on the men responsible for the violence and abuse, Kayima,  a former police…
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Drop Charges Against Dozens Detained in Recent Roundups

  (Nairobi) – The Ugandan authorities should drop charges against dozens of people arrested over the last month in Kampala, the capital, on the basis of their presumed sexual orientation or gender identity, Human…
A medical report filled out by a doctor in Kampala, Uganda, after conducting a forced anal examination on a man suspected of consensual same-sex conduct.
News

Amid Attacks, Officials Threaten Death Penalty for LGBT People

  Update: On October 12, a government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo, tweeted that the government "does not intend to introduce any new law with regards to regulation of LGBT activities in Uganda because the current…
Relatives of Brian Wasswa carry his coffin during his funeral on October 6, 2019.
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With great sadness we share the news that Medi Ssengooba, a dear friend, partner, and colleague at Human Rights Watch, passed away last week after a short illness. Medi was a strong advocate, a sharp lawyer, and a kind and…
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  In January, a colleague of mine at Human Rights Watch predicted that 2018 would be the “year of the courts” for LGBT people’s rights. Seven months into the year, courts around the world have indeed come down with important rulings that…
The Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi, India.
News

Repeal Colonial-Era Laws

(Bridgetown, Barbados, March 21, 2018) – Discriminatory laws in Eastern Caribbean countries make lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people targets for discrimination, violence and abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
Jason (pseudonym), a 40-year-old gay man from Barbados.
News

Police Failure to Respond to Attacks on Organizations

  (Nairobi) – Ugandan rights organization Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) was the target of a violent break-in on the night of February 8, 2018, Human Rights Watch said today. HRAPF works to protect…
Ugandan human rights activists hold a press conference on February 9 to condemn the violent break-in at Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) and call on police to investigate. HURINET/2018
News

Stop Blocking LGBT Cultural Events

(Nairobi, December 15, 2017) – Ugandan police raided and forcibly closed the Queer Kampala International Film Festival on December 9, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. The festival featured films and documentaries portraying the…
Audience members watch films screened during the sold-out opening night of the 2017 Queer Kampala International Film Festival. Police raided and forcibly closed the festival on December 9, 2017.