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Uganda

Monthly Event Reports

October 2023 | Security forces crack down on opposition as leader returns to Uganda

Uganda’s police and military have cracked down on members of the opposition National Unity Platform party (NUP) as its leader, Robert Kyagulanyi, known as Bobi Wine, returned to Uganda from a trip abroad on 6 October. According to Wine, he was detained by security personnel at Entebbe airport, taken home and then placed under house arrest, an allegation denied by the police, which said that he was merely ‘escorted’ home. A police press release stated that it had also arrested 40 individuals (including an NUP parliamentarian) as part of a security operation to shut down an NUP march that it had declared illegal. Wine, however, said that over 300 people were arrested, and media organisations reported that journalists had been detained and assaulted by security personnel, who had also prevented them from accessing the airport. On 9 October, Wine claimed that Ugandan police and military officers had raided the NUP’s headquarters, alleging that the raid was aimed at stopping a party prayer event.       

August 2023 | Uganda charges two men with new ‘aggravated homosexuality’ offence
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In August, the office of the Director of Public Prosecution revealed that it had charged two men with the capital offence of ‘aggravated homosexuality’, the first such charges since the enactment in May 2023 of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, the legislation that introduced the offence. Aggravated homosexuality is committed where same-sex relations occur in a select list of ‘aggravating’ circumstances, including where they involve a minor (as is alleged in one of the cases) or a disabled person (as is alleged in the other). Uganda has not executed anyone since 2005, with those charged with capital offences usually receiving life sentences. However, the enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Act has raised fears amongst the LGBTQIA+ community and its advocates of a resumption of state executions. Several people were also arrested in August for lesser offences under the Act and evictions and harassment and violence against LGBTQIA+ persons is reported to have risen in recent months.      

June 2023 | At least 42 people killed in school terrorist attack

On 16 June, a terrorist attack carried out against a school in Mpondwe, a town in western Uganda, left at least 42 people dead, 37 of which were students. A further six students were abducted. Uganda’s President blamed the attack on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an Islamist rebel group established in Uganda in the 1990s but now based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). ADF attacks in Uganda are rare. In 2021, the group carried out a series of bombings in the country’s capital Kampala, which killed three people. According to local experts, communities living in western Uganda are particularly vulnerable to assaults and recruitment by militant groups due to the unregulated movement of people and goods across the border with the DRC and high unemployment rates. Previous ADF attacks have led to increased discrimination against Uganda’s Muslim communities and Muslims in Mpondwe were reported to be fearful of retaliation.               Sources: Daily Monitor, Al Jazeera, Ugandan Police Force, President Yoweri Museveni, Institute for Security Studies

May 2023 | Museveni signs law further restricting LGBTQIA+ rights

On 26 May, President Yoweri Museveni signed into law the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, a piece of legislation that further restricts the already severely constrained rights of LGBTQIA+ people in Uganda. The law, which was initially passed by Parliament on 21 March 2023 before being returned to legislators by Museveni for reconsideration, was left largely unamended when passed a second time on 2 May 2023. It still criminalises the ‘promotion of homosexuality’, meaning that anyone who advocates for LGBTQIA+ rights or finances such advocacy could face a prison sentence of up to 20 years. It also continues to prescribe the death penalty for the crime of ‘aggravated homosexuality’ (where same-sex relations are carried out in one of a select list of ‘aggravating’ circumstances, e.g. where the offender is a ‘serial offender’ or the victim is under 18). However, on the recommendation of Museveni, the law no longer criminalises identifying as an LGBTQIA+ person.

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GSoD Indices Data 2013-2022

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Basic Information

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Population Tooltip
47 123 530
System of government
Presidential system
Head of government
President Yoweri Museveni (since 1986)
Head of government party
National Resistance Movement
Electoral system for lower or single chamber
First Past the Post
Women in lower or single chamber
33.8%
Women in upper chamber
Not applicable
Last legislative election
2021
Effective number of political parties Tooltip
4.67
Head of state
President Yoweri Museveni
Selection process for head of state
Direct election (two-round majority)
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) date
27/01/2022
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Human Rights Treaties

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State Party State party
Signatory Signatory
No Action No action
United Nations Human Right Treaties
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
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International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
State Party
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
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Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
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Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
State Party
Convention on the Rights of the Child
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International Convention on Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
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International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance 
Signatory
International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
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International Labour Organisation Treaties
Forced Labour Convention
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Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention
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Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention
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Equal Remuneration Convention
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Abolition of Forced Labour Convention
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Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention
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Convention concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment
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Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention
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Regional Treaties
African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights
State Party
in
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Performance by category over the last 6 months

Representation neutral Representation
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Representation neutral Rule of law
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Representation neutral Participation
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Global State of Democracy Indices

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Explore the indices
Representation
Representation
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/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rights
Rights
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high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rule of Law
Rule of Law
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high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Participation
Participation
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high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4

Factors of Democratic Performance Over Time

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