SMUG has today joined the rest of the world to celebrate the International Human Rights Day today themed “Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always”. Commemoration of the day is intended to offer a platform to generate action points on critical human rights issues in Uganda.
The day comes at a time when sexual minorities in Uganda continue to be prosecuted by family, friends and the community at large.
SMUG Executive Director Dr Frank Mugisha says “It is important to include LGBT rights in broader human rights, issues concerning LGBT identifying Ugandans continue to be ignored by legislators and yet we too are Ugandans.”
When it comes to human rights of sexual and gender minorities officials say “It’s not time, and that we are not ready.” This is an excuse says Pepe Julian Onziema SMUG Programs Director. He adds “This is an excuse; the government has the obligation to protect human beings in its borders indiscriminately.”
SMUG is still committed to its core duty of advocating for the protection and promotion of human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Ugandans.
“Some say that sexual orientation and gender identity are sensitive issues. I understand. Like many of my generation, I did not grow up talking about these issues. But I learned to speak out because lives are at stake, and because it is our duty under the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to protect the rights of everyone, everywhere.” — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the Human Rights Council, 7 March 2012.