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OUT in Uganda

Documenting the lived experiences of sexual and gender minorities in Uganda, our ‘OUT in Uganda’ research worked with seven partner organisations in Uganda to map out their human rights and development needs. We unearthed some worrying findings and have made some key recommendations.

"In Uganda we the LGBTQ community we face a lot of problems. We are illegally arrested and never charged in courts of law, always being violently attacked by the community...when you go report to police you may end up being arrested yet you the one who has reported the case" (Respondent. OUT in Uganda)

ReportOUT worked in close partnership with seven Ugandan organisations over a period of over a year to document the lives of an often hard to reach and voiceless population of sexual and gender minorities. Through our close partnership working with our seven Ugandan partner organisations, we shone a light on the lived experiences faced by sexual and gender minorities in Uganda. This research also holds the Ugandan state to their human rights obligations and their human rights violations.


*Please note that we use the term SOGIESC in this research report (sexual orientation, gender identity, expression, and sex characteristics.

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Please read and download this report (opens in PDF) by clicking here

The key findings of our OUT in Uganda research, found that

  • Three quarters of SOGIESC Ugandans state that Uganda is 'very unsafe.'

  • The Ugandan state and many other institutions such as the media construct SOGIESC people as a threat to society, despite no evidence of this being the case.

  • Many SOGIESC Ugandans face financial precarity - they struggle with access to employment, a third live below and Ugandan Minimum Wage each month and 65% often live below the International Poverty line of $1.90 per day. Many SOGIESC Ugandans are living in extreme poverty and are financially marginalised.

  • Prejudice and discrimination toward SOGIESC Ugandans are rife within the nation state and this significantly impacts upon their education, employment prospects and access to housing, compounding their financial precarity further. Abuse online is common.

  • Respondents often face arbitrary arrest, police brutality and when SOGIESC people are a victim of crime themselves, over half do not report it for fear of not being taken seriously by the police. This is due to a fear of homo/bi/transphobic reactions by the police. The state is not protecting its citizens.

  • 38% of respondents report that they have been attacked or threatened with sexual violence twice in the last 12 months, often with more than one perpetrator;

  • Over half (60%) of SOGIESC Ugandans have been tortured by another person(s);

  • A significant number (over 40%) of SOGIESC Ugandans live with depression and many show trauma and symptoms of PTSD. The mental health of many SOGIESC people is very poor and a quarter report that their physical health is 'getting worse.'

  • Over half of SOGIESC Ugandans will not access healthcare services due to perceived or actual discrimination.

  • SOGIESC Ugandans seek support in SOGIESC organisations, which often do not have enough funding to provide all services needed. However, SOGIESC people need support from wider services where they will be treated equally and without judgement;.

  • The most basic of human rights are not being met for many SOGIESC Ugandans.

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