- November 12, 2015
Post submitted by Ashley Fowler, former HRC Global Coordinator
An increasing number of LGBT Ugandans who face violence and persecution in their country have been fleeing to Kenya. However, these LGBT refugees who hope to obtain relief and safety in Kenya are often met with the same mix of violence and intense homophobia that they did in Uganda. In some instances, individuals have even reported experiencing an increased amount of violence after relocating.
There was an uptick in violence following the introduction of the Anti-Homosexuality Act in Uganda in early 2014. A 2015 report from the Consortium on Monitoring Violations Based on Sex Determination, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation revealed that there were 89 verified cases of violence against LGBT people in Uganda in 2014.Uganda perpetrated 47 of those cases. Mob violence became more commonplace and families were quick to denounce their LGBT loved ones. It was because of this massive increase in violence and discrimination that hundreds of LGBT people began to flee to Kenya.
In February 2015, 32 Ugandan gay men were arrested in Nairobi as they gathered for a farewell party for a friend. The situation has become so severe that Ugandan LGBT refugees have protested outside the offices of the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees in Nairobi, but have yet to see results.
The BBC recently reported on the personal stories of several LGBT Ugandans currently residing in Kenya. These individuals detailed their experiences, including beatings from mobs and arrests.
"In Uganda we were unsafe and here it's the same,” a former Ugandan church pastor explained to BBC.
For more information on the situation for LGBT individuals in Uganda, check out HRC Global's recent in-depth analysis, LGBT Uganda Today: Continuing Danger Despite Nullification of Anti-Homosexuality Act.