World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Uganda: Anti-Homosexuality Bill Violates Human Rights

Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill Has ‘Serious Human Rights Implications’ – UNAIDS

New York, Feb 18 2014 - The United Nations agency leading the global HIV/AIDS response warned today that the signing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda would have “serious human rights implications” and urged protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people around the world.

The bill, passed by the Ugandan Parliament on 20 December, calls for a 14-year jail term for a first conviction and imprisonment for life for the offence of “aggravated homosexuality.”

“I strongly urge the Ugandan authorities to reject the bill and ensure the human rights and dignity of all people in Uganda,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

“Uganda was the first country in Africa to break the conspiracy of silence on AIDS – and to give voice to the most marginalized – but now I am scared that this bill will take Uganda backwards, relinquishing its leadership role in the AIDS response,” Mr. Sidibé added.

The bill also has public health implications, UNAIDS, said citing studies which show that when gay people face discrimination including abuse, incarceration and prosecution, they are less likely to seek HIV testing, prevention and treatment services.

In 2012, there were 1.5 million people living with HIV in Uganda and 140,000 new HIV infections, UNAIDS reported.

Globally, gay men are around 13 times more likely to become infected with HIV than the general population, emphasizing the urgent need to ensure safe access to HIV prevention and treatment services for all people everywhere.

In today’s statement, the UN agency urged all Governments “to protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender people through repealing criminal laws against adult consensual same sex sexual conduct.”

UNAIDS also called on authorities to implement laws to protect people from violence and discrimination, to promote campaigns that address homophobia and transphobia, and to ensure access to health services including HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has decried the bill, noting that it would have a detrimental effect not only on the fundamental rights of LGBT members of Ugandan society but also on the work of human rights defenders and efforts to address HIV/AIDS in the country.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appealed for the complete and universal decriminalization of homosexuality, still a criminal offence in some 76 countries, stressing that human rights must always trump cultural attitudes and societal strictures.

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN Health Agency Responds To Ebola Spike

UN health agency responds to Ebola spike by deploying team on border of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau More>>

UN Casts Israel As World's Worst Violator Of Health Rights

Israel's army team of medics recently treated 1,600 victims of the Nepal earthquake. More>>

W Thousands Flee Syria’s Besieged Historic City Of Palmyra

As thousands flee Syria’s besieged historic city of Palmyra, UN refugee agency readies response plan More>>

UN Agency To Halt Housing Allowance For Palestine Refugees

Lack of funds forces UNRWA to suspend cash assistance for housing for Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon. Photo: UNRWA/Shafiq Fahed More>>


Bangkok: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphophia

BMA, UN, embassy representatives, civil society and artists stand united with LGBTI Thais on International Day against Transphobia, Homophobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT) at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre More>>

Displaced Iraqis Face Difficulties As Fighting Continues

UNHCR is concerned about the processing arrangements in place at the Bzabz bridge – a series of pontoons across the Euphrates River which marks the boundary between Anbar province and the capital, Baghdad. Photo: UNHCR/G. Ohara More>>

UNESCO Chief Condemns Killing Of Bangladeshi Blogger

Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz The head of the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom worldwide today voiced ... More>>

Philadelphia: Train Crash

Five people have been confirmed dead and more than 136 people injured after an Amtrak train crashed in Philadelphia today at 9.20pm local time.More>>

UN News: Alarming Surge In Bay Of Bengal Crossings

The number of irregular migrants crossing the Bay of Bengal has almost doubled over the past year amid a dangerous uptick in human smuggling and trafficking across the region, according to a new report from the United Nations refugee agency. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news