Human Rights Focus

Uganda

Priority Issues

  • LGBTI rights
  • Women’s rights
  • Economic, social, and cultural rights
  • The rights of refugees and those recently displaced

Began Program: 2005

In 2005, many Ugandans were confident that the human rights and political situation in the country was improving after years of violence and oppression. The war with the LRA in the North was coming to a close and President Museveni had agreed to stand in multi-party elections the following year for the first time since seizing power in 1986. By 2006 hopes for fair elections had been crushed and Museveni’s government slowly began to crack down on human rights organizations and push for increasingly discriminatory legislation targeting LGBTI individuals. Additionally, promised reforms to restrictive and discriminatory laws toward women failed to be implemented.

Today, our grantees, who were once pushing for new reforms and changes, now find themselves defending the line against further restrictions on civil liberties and violations of human rights.

“The Fund supported LGBT rights in Uganda years before the issue was in the headlines and was the first donor for Sexual Minorities Uganda.”
Frank Mugisha, Sexual Minorities Uganda

Our Strategy

Since we began our program in Uganda in 2005, we have aimed to support Uganda’s diverse human rights movement by funding organizations in rural areas where rights violations are severe and resources are scarce, alongside a handful of capital-based organizations committed to working with the most marginalized people and communities. We promote women’s rights by supporting organizations fighting restrictive laws, as well as community organizations defending women’s land rights and working with victims of gender-based violence. Our grantees fight for health rights and fair labor conditions and they are leading the charge for government accountability and transparency especially in the natural resources sector. Lastly, the Fund has been dedicated to defending LGBTI rights in Uganda since the start of our program—this includes not only our financial support to the fearless activists fighting for equality, but also our commitment to providing security and support to them when they are under threat.