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

 


Anti-Homosexuality law in Uganda violates human rights

Anti-Homosexuality law in Uganda violates human rights and endangers LGBT people - Pillay

GENEVA (24 February 2014) - The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Monday denounced the anti-homosexuality law signed into force in Uganda, which she said would institutionalise discrimination against lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and could encourage harassment and violence against them.

The law, which was signed into force today, criminalises and imposes sentences of life imprisonment for homosexuality, same-sex marriage and "aggravated homosexuality". It also provides for prison sentences of five to seven years for the “promotion” of, “attempts to commit”, “aiding and abetting” and “conspiracy to engage in” homosexuality.

“Disapproval of homosexuality by some can never justify violating the fundamental human rights of others,” Pillay said. “This law will institutionalise discrimination and is likely to encourage harassment and violence against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation. It is formulated so broadly that it may lead to abuse of power and accusations against anyone, not just LGBT people.”

Pillay stressed that Uganda is obliged, both by its own constitution and by international law, to respect the rights of all individuals and to protect them from discrimination and violence.

“This law violates a host of fundamental human rights, including the right to freedom from discrimination, to privacy, freedom of association, peaceful assembly, opinion and expression and equality before the law – all of which are enshrined in Uganda’s own constitution and in the international treaties it has ratified,” Pillay said.

Pillay expressed deep concern that the law could also threaten the critically important work of human rights defenders in the country, urging the Government to take immediate steps to ensure that they are not prosecuted for their advocacy.

“With the HIV infection rate rising in Uganda, the law will have a negative impact on efforts to prevent transmission and provide treatment for people living with HIV, as well as undermine the Government’s commitment to non-discriminatory access to healthcare,” the High Commissioner said.

Police and judicial authorities must investigate any violence and attacks against LGBT individuals and hold perpetrators to account, Pillay said, stressing that States have a legal duty to protect all individuals from human rights violations, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Media organisations should also refrain from fuelling hatred or attacks on the basis of sexual orientation, Pillay said.

On claims that the new law will protect children from abuse, Pillay said that outlawing consensual same-sex relations between adults would not have any bearing on the protection of children from abuse. She urged the Government to instead strengthen implementation of its laws and policies to prevent and prosecute such abuse.

The High Commissioner expressed hope that the new law would be reviewed at the earliest opportunity in light of its fundamental conflicts with Uganda’s constitution and its international human rights obligations.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

As Health Needs Rise In Somalia, Funding Hits New Low

As health needs rise in Somalia, funding hits new low, cutting off 1.5 million from care – UN More>>

Need To End Violence Against Children In Conflict

‘We should be outraged’ more not being done to end violence against children in conflict – UNICEF chief More>>

On Mandela Day, UN Joins Call To Promote Community Service

Nelson Mandela, then Deputy President of the African National Congress of South Africa, raises his fist in the air while addressing the Special Committee Against Apartheid in the General Assembly Hall. UN Photo/P. Sudhakaran More>>

Some $3.2 Billion Needed For Ebola Recovery Efforts

Some $3.2 billion needed for Ebola recovery efforts in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – UN More>>

World Day: UN Spotlights Plight Of Vulnerable Populalations

Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting near the Syrian city of Kobani wait in a holding area before boarding buses in Turkey (September 2014). Photo: UNHCR /I. Prickett More>>

Afghanisatan: Direct Talks Between Government And Taliban

The United Nations Security Council has welcomed the recently held direct talks between Afghan Government and Taliban representatives as a step towards “peace and reconciliation” in the region. More>>

Eradicating World Hunger By 2030

Agriculture workers collect carrots on a farm in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Photo: World Bank/Maria Fleischmann More>>

Bangladesh: Flood Leads To UN Agency Providing Food Relief

Anwar Hossain unloads cartons of High Energy Biscuits from a pickup truck and transfers them to a distribution center in Kawar Khop union, Ramu upazila, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: WFP/Kamrul Mithon More>>

Ban Says World Must Act Now To Curb Climate Change

Alarmed by melting glacier in Norway, Ban says world must 'act now' to curb climate change More>>

UN Spotlights Data And Technology As Key To Sustainability

The importance of quality data and cutting edge information communication technologies (ICTs) is increasingly critical to the shaping of the future sustainable development agenda, the head of the United Nations Development Programme ( UNDP ) confirmed today. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news