Mr. President, Action Canada makes this statement in collaboration with the Sexual Rights Initiative and Isis-WICCE.
We welcome Uganda’s acceptance of recommendations to align its domestic legislation with the human rights treaties it has ratified, on addressing violence and discrimination against women, including female genital mutilation, and its commitment to abolish all discriminatory laws and practices in accordance with its obligations under CEDAW and other ratified international and regional human rights instruments.
However, we are deeply concerned that recommendations to combat and prevent discrimination and social stigmatisation, of persons with disabilities, persons with albinism, and on the grounds of real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity did not enjoy the support of Uganda. This brings into question the State’s commitment to ensuring that the lives of all Ugandans are protected, and their dignity, freedom and autonomy are respected.
We urge Uganda to take steps to guarantee economic, social and cultural rights for all people, including people with non-normative sexualities and gender identities and also call on the government to honour its commitment made in the Abuja Declaration to increase budget allocations for health and health-related services. Such a commitment should include the incorporation of comprehensive sexuality education into primary, secondary and tertiary education, and enable the participation and leadership of adolescents, youth groups and civil society organisations in the development of this curriculum.
We also urge Uganda to amend, pass and implement the School Health Policy and ensure its content is comprehensive. We urge Uganda to show leadership in fulfilling its obligations under International Human Rights law to provide protection for all its people as well as access to the fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the country’s constitution.
I thank you.