Sexual Minorities Uganda held a meeting with the US Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI persons on the 14th/July/2015 to discuss issues affecting the LGBTI in Uganda and forge a way forward on how to promote the human rights of LGBT persons.
Dr Frank Mugisha SMUG Executive Director welcomed the appointment of Randy Berry’s as US Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI persons. “His appointment means that the US government is strategically supporting global LGBTI rights.” He says.
He also welcomed and appreciated Mr Randy Berry’s significant visit to Uganda and specifically to SMUG headquarters and his visible support to LGBTI persons in Uganda.
During the discussions Mr Randy Berry emphasized the need for LGBTI organizations to work together with the government and development partners to see to it that the rights of LGBTIQ in the country are promoted and respected.
On behalf of Sexual Minorities Uganda SMUG Richard Lusimbo the head of Research and Documentation presented in detail issues affecting LGBTI including need to fight homophobia amongst the local population, need for capacity building to improve the social and economic welfare of LGBTI in the country among others.
Freedom and Roam Uganda Executive Director Warry called for more emphasis on women within the LGBTI community saying they too need attention as far as health is concerned. She notes that health issues like cervical cancer, fibroids, wounds from binding STDs among other diseases need to be attended to before it becomes an epidemic.
Dennis Wamala Programs Manager Ice Breakers Uganda said the ministry of health is now working together with the LGBTI community to provide lubricants to gay men and MSM in the country as a way to prevent the spread of HIV.
Moses Kimbugwe the programs coordinator Spectrum Uganda initiatives thanked the ministry of health for working together with the community to provide health care services to the members of the community. He says this shows that the initiatives by LGBTI organisations to ensure that the human rights for members of the community are starting to get recognized.
Kasha N Jaqueline the founder and head of Kuchu Times said it is a great milestone for the LGBTI community to be able to celebrate Pride week in Uganda. She adds that LGBTI organisations have been working closely with Uganda police to ensure that such events take place without inconveniencing any other parties.
The Special Envoy for Human Rights of LGBTI was in the company of Matthew Bunt the political officer US embassy Uganda. Other members who represented LGBTI are Dennis Wamala Programs Manager Ice Breakers Uganda, Executive Director Queer Youth and SMUG staff.