Kampala Tuesday, May 4th, 2021; The Uganda Key Populations Consortium (UKPC) and members strongly condemn the Sexual Offences Bill 2019, which the Parliament of Uganda has passed Monday, May 3rd, 2021.
The bill that has been passed criminalises sex work and same-sex relationships in Uganda. Its objectives are aimed at enacting a specific law on sexual offences for the effective prevention of sexual violence; enhance punishment of sexual offences; to provide for the protection of victim during sexual offences trials; to provide for extraterritorial application of the law; to repeal some provisions of the Penal Code Act, Cap 120 and for other related matter.
“It is clear from the Bill that some of the clauses directly reinforce sections of the Penal Code Act Cap 120 of Uganda that criminalise homosexuality and sex work. This is, therefore, a direct threat of chapter 4 of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda that promotes human rights of all Ugandans.” Richard Lusimbo, the National Coordinator of the Uganda Key Populations Consortium, mentioned.
Previously, the public and authorities have used laws such as the Anti Homosexuality Act and the Penal Code Act to promote discrimination and stigmatisation of key populations, specifically LGBTIQ and sex workers. These have led to incidents of deaths, life-threatening injuries and sometimes, loss of livelihoods. The Bill, will therefore escalate the already existing problems and continue undermining the rights of LGBTIQ and Sex workers communities in Uganda.
“As UKPC, we call upon the president of the Republic of Uganda to uphold international laws and the Constitution that promote human rights by not assenting to the Bill. It should be brought back to parliament and all clauses that promote human rights violations removed.” Richard Lusimbo mentioned.
UKPC continues to advocate for the rights of all key populations in Uganda. Our mandate remains to work with key partners both in the government and private sector to promote human rights for all.
About the Uganda Key Populations Consortium
The Uganda Key Population Consortium – UKPC was formed on 19th July 2018 at Mulago Referral Hospital, Kampala, to bring together representatives of Key Populations (KPs) to collectively define and advocate for issues of common concern, including response to shrinking resources and space for key population-led organisations. Thus, the UKPC serves as an advocacy platform coordinating strategic action and supporting systems and structure strengthening for all members.
For more information please contact;
Richard S. Lusimbo
Founder & National Coordinator