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

 

Whaling: Japan’s Institute for Cetacean Research In Defiance Of World Court Ruling

The ICR Today Filed Court Briefs Stating They Intend to Return to Antarctica to Hunt Whales in 2015-2016; Will Seek to Enjoin Other Sea Shepherd Entities from Obstructing Their Operations More>>

Ukraine: UN Urges 'Maximum Restraint' Amid Situation In East Ukraine

Deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in eastern Ukraine, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for maximum restraint and appealed to all sides to work towards calming the situation, which has the 'growing potential' to ... More>>

United Nations: Children Can Now Lodge Complaints With The UN

GENEVA (14 April 2014) – United Nations child rights experts have hailed a new treaty that allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights. More>>

India: Election But A Ritual In Nation Lacking Rule Of Law

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) congratulates the people of India for their participation to elect the 16th Lok Sabha. The process has attracted, as usual, considerable media attention across the world. Media claims the process to be 'the largest democratic ... More>>

Solomon Islands: Thousands Remain Affected After Flash Floods

An estimated 52,000 people remain affected in the worst-hit areas of Honiara and greater Guadalcanal following last week’s devastating floods which killed at least 23 people. More>>

ALSO:

World: Some 437,000 People Murdered Worldwide In 2012 - UN

Almost half a million people across the world lost their lives in 2012 as a result of intentional homicide, with the highest murder rates logged in the Americas and Africa, and the lowest in Europe, Asia and Oceania, the United Nations Office on ... More>>

Central African Republic:: Security Council Establishes UN Peacekeeping Mission

Deeply concerned about the deteriorating security situation and ongoing human rights abuses in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Security Council today approved the establishment of a nearly 12,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping operation ... More>>

ALSO:

Parliament: NZ Sending Aid Flight To Solomons

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has announced further support for the response to severe flooding in Solomon Islands. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news