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

 


Annulment of Uganda’s anti-homosexuality law hailed by UN

Annulment of Uganda’s anti-homosexuality law hailed by UN officials

1 August 2014

United Nations officials have welcomed the decision of the Constitutional Court of Uganda to annul the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Act, hailing it as a victory for the rule of law and social justice.

The law, which drew condemnation from the UN when it was promulgated in February, called for a 14-year jail term for a first conviction, and imprisonment for life for ‘aggravated homosexuality’. Challenged by 10 petitioners, including civil society, parliamentarians and academics, the law was annulled by the Court over a lack of quorum when the bill was passed.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid tribute to all those who contributed to this “step forward,” particularly the human rights defenders in Uganda who spoke out, at times incurring great personal risk.

“The Secretary-General calls for further efforts to decriminalize same-sex relationships and address the stigma and discrimination that persist in Uganda against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons,” said a statement issued by his spokesperson.

Also welcoming the decision to annul the law was the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), which had warned that the legislation may obstruct effective responses to the virus.

“This is a great day for social justice,” UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé declared in a statement. “The rule of law has prevailed.”

UNAIDS noted that while homosexuality remains illegal in Uganda, annulling the law could have positive public health implications. Studies show that when gay men and other men who have sex with men face discrimination, including abuse, incarceration and prosecution, they are less likely to seek HIV testing, prevention and treatment services.

“[Ugandan] President Yoweri Museveni had personally indicated to me that he wants Uganda to accelerate its AIDS response to ensure all people have access to life-saving services,” said Mr. Sidibé.

UNAIDS urged all Governments around the world, to protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender people through repealing criminal laws against adult consensual same sex sexual conduct; implementing laws to protect people from violence and discrimination; promoting campaigns that address homophobia and transphobia; and ensuring access to health services, including HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

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>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news