Initiative of Trans With A Mission an organization that supports transgender people in Manafwa, Eastern Uganda are deeply concerned that transgender people are particularly vulnerable to arrest, prosecution and harassment under a range of laws where authorities use public order, vagrancy and misdemeanour offences to harass, arrest and prosecute transgender people. COVID-19 has highlighted gaps in equality and exacerbated existing vulnerabilities, including bias and social stigma, discrimination, economic impact and the risk of violence and domestic parental violence, as well as reducing access to health services.
In a press statement to observe International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia-IDAHOBIT the organization noted, “Everyone, everywhere, should be free to express who they are and love who they love without fear of violence or discrimination. The strongest, safest and most prosperous societies are those in which everyone can live freely, without fear of violence or discrimination, and where all citizens are treated fairly and can play a full and active part in society.”
The organization team leader Gafidyn Rae says, “We are at a crossroads in the history of LGBTQI+ rights and more needs to be done, in every part of the world, to help ensure LGBTQI+ people feel safe and are treated equally throughout society. It is now more important than ever that we stand up for the human rights of all people including those with disabilities.”
She concludes, “We pay tribute to and applaud the courageous advocacy efforts carried out by grassroots human rights defenders, activists, journalists, media workers and civil society organizations to raise awareness about the issues affecting LGBTQI+ persons and human rights violations they may face worldwide. We as well call out for development of a cross movement between the disability rights movement and the LGBTQI+ rights movement and develop various movement networks that will advocate for equality, equity and inclusion of all people without leaving anyone behind.”
IDAHOBIT is observed on the 17th May annually to raise awareness about the violations against LGBTQ people worldwide. This year’s theme is ‘Our bodies, Our Lives, Our Rights’, a reminder that everyone must have the right to make informed decisions about their bodies and their lives.