THEMATIC FOCUS

Most at-risk populations (MARPs) in Uganda, who account for double HIV prevalence rates compared to national average, include men who have sex with men (MSM), transactional sex workers and their partners, fishing communities, truck drivers, boda boda riders   and men in uniformed services , however our primary focus is on the LGBTI community particularly MSM.

Probono Publico works under three thematic areas to contribute to lowing the HIV prevalence that arise from these Key populations.

  • Demand creation for Key population health products.
  • Provision of legal aid to Key population categories that face, persecution, discrimination, violence and general abuse of their rights.
  • Redressing stigma, fear and marginalization of categories of Key populations, that act as barriers to accessibility to available specialized health programs

PROVISION OF LEGAL AID TO KEY POPULATION CATEGORIES THAT FACE, PERSECUTION, DISCRIMINATION, VIOLENCE AND GENERAL ABUSE OF THEIR RIGHTS.

D

ay – to-day life of certain categories of Key populations particularly the lesbian, gay , bisexual and transgender ( LGBT) community is a nightmare in Uganda , they face condemnation  and adversity from a conservative general population and government .   They are also denied representation in institutions that  are primarily created to alleviate their plight, a case in point is in 2015 when Civil society groups representing Key a populations- viz LGBT people  and drug users, spoke out against the election process for Key affected populations for an important Ugandan policy setting body- the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s Country Coordinating Mechanism , where the practicing Key populations wished to have a representative on country coordinating mechanism ( CCM ) but were not  considered on grounds that they didn’t understand the policy issues regarding the Key population.

Although some efforts are under way to ensure health care access for LGBT and other Key populations in Uganda, there is still strong opposition from religious groups and institutionalized discrimination, for example

In 2015 such opposition stymied several activities supported by Global Fund interventions grant for Uganda, like purchases of condom -compatible lubricants. Similarly, the Non- Governmental Act of 2015, which limits civil society organizations work in reaching out with health services for “criminalized” groups that include LGBT people and sex workers is a major hindrance for health and other social services permeating to these categories of Key populations.

The above absurd and dire situation calls for the provision of legal aid to affected individuals and where official policy or law is a barrier to the enjoyment of human, health and other rights of Key populations, public interest litigation is required. These legal interventions are the pillars upon which Probono Publico was founded.

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