Worldwide, the LGBTIQ+ communities strive for survival, equality, justice and happiness on a daily basis. In Uganda, one organisation continues a daily struggle to assist some of the most marginalised and disadvantaged LGBTIQ+ people in the world. With few resources and no significant international support, HUREED persists to overcome daily challenges that we in the west can barely imagine.
Uganda’s persecution of its LGBTIQ+ citizens is infamous. LGBTIQ+ Ugandans face relentless discrimination and the ever-present threat of vigilante violence, including beatings and execution.
That is despite increasing social tolerance in the country. A 2017 poll by ILGA found that 49% of Ugandans believed GLB people should enjoy the same rights as straights. Further, 56% agreed GLB people should enjoy protection from workplace discrimination. An even higher percentage agreed transgender people should enjoy the same protections.
But that increased social tolerance is yet to translate into a decrease in discrimination and persecution.
Ugandan politicians demonise LGBTIQ+ persons as cult members. Additionally, legal and policy prejudice hinder access to services. So-called carnal knowledge against the order of nature between two males carries a potential penalty of life imprisonment.
The LGBTIQ+ community remains under relentless unlawful attack. They also face social exclusion, family rejection, denial of health services and unemployment.
However, some amazing Ugandans are fighting back.
Human Right and Economic Empowerment Development (HUREED) is a grassroots community organization that promotes rights, health and economic wellbeing. In addition to providing support, HUREED tackles violence and stigma by advocating for equitable access to health, legal justice and social inclusion.
Volunteers from HUREED proactively work to protect their community members. When individuals are unjustly arrested, HUREED representatives attend police stations to pay bail or otherwise negotiate a release. Injured community members are provided with emergency health care and accommodation is sought for those driven from their homes.
Although this work also places the volunteers in danger, they persist in the hope of a better future.
The danger is real. QNews possesses photos of LGBTIQ+ Ugandans bruised and broken in vicious beatings. Machete attacks leave some with open wounds while still others suffer horrific burns in acid attacks. The photos are too distressing for publication. Yet this violence is a constant for members of our communities in the ‘Pearl of Africa’.
PLEASE SUPPORT HUREED if you can!
HUREED makes a difference. With next to no resources, they provide often life-saving assistance to our brothers and sisters in Uganda. Every cent donated to HUREED makes a difference. A mere $20 can be life-saving.