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THE SPOTLIGHT HRAPF’s work AIMS AT achieving equality, non-discrimination, and access to justice for the most at risk populations and marginalised PERSONs in Uganda.

Dear Reader

The curtain fell on 2020, a year unlike others! While no one was prepared for the long term impact of COVID-19, we all, in our different walks of life, took various measures to survive, thrive and work, and at HRAPF, we took steps to reinvent and innovate new ways of reaching out to our constituents in this difficult time. We are pleased that these efforts resulted in significant improvements in our ability to meet the needs of our clients, particularly at a time when the demand for legal support services had never been higher.

We cannot fail to register our deepest appreciation all our clients and partners who have continued to support HRAPF. We wouldn't have strengthened the achievement of our vision and mission without your unwavering support and commitment.

We are delighted to present to you our 2020 Fourth Quarter Newsletter. In this issue we share a round up of our interventions and activities during the final quarter of 2020.

Enjoy!

ACCESS TO JUSTICE

During the year 2020, the legal aid clinic of HRAPF catering to Most At Risk Populations handled a total of 1,242 cases. Of these, 808 have been closed and 434 are still pending. The general case completion rate is therefore 65%. The cases handled benefitted a total of 1,678 persons (296 in People Who Use and Inject Drugs (PWUID) cases; 788 in sex worker cases and 594 in LGBTI cases)

465 of these cases were handled at the legal aid clinic’s central office (191 for LGBT persons, 69 for PWUIDs and 205 for sex workers); 231 were handled at the regional centres (153 for LGBT persons, 37 for PWUIDs and 41 for sex workers); 52 were handled at the specialized legal aid desk (25 at the LBQ desk and 27 at the Transgender persons’ desk); and 494 cases were handled by community paralegals (117 for LGBT persons, 70 for PWUIDs and 307 for sex workers).

During the year 2020, we operated six regional legal aid centres/ desks in the Northern Region (at Health and Rights Initiative), the Eastern Region (at HOPE Mbale), the Central Region (at HUREED Initiative Ltd), the Western Region (at Mbarara Rise Foundation), a specialized desk for LBQ Women (at Freedom and Roam Uganda) and one for Transgender persons (at Tranz Network Uganda).

ANNUAL COMMUNITY PARALEGAL SHARING SESSION

HRAPF held an end of year consultative and sharing session with community paralegals working with LGBT community. The meeting was a safe space for the paralegals to share their experiences, challenges and next steps as they continue to create awareness and sensitize marginalized communities on the law. It was also time to reflect on the year, highlighting their achievements through the year and the areas of improvement.

The HRAPF Team together with activists for the COSF Court Hearing at Nsangi Court

SRHR REGIONAL TRAININGS FOR LGBT+ CHAMPIONS

HRAPF conducted four regional SRHR trainings for LGBT+ advocacy champions in Western, Eastern, Central and Northern Uganda. The trained champions were also supported to develop regional SRHR advocacy strategies.

A total of 64 SRHR advocacy champions were trained and supported to develop advocacy strategies for their different regions; Eastern, Northern, Western and Central. By the end of the trainings and meetings, Participants had developed regional SRHR Advocacy strategies and had acquired knowledge on SRHR advocacy.

The participants also noted that they were able to identify SRHR issues that were specific to their respective regions. The trained champions also pledged to work together and support each other as well as share the new knowledge and skills they had attained.

BUDGET MONITORING TRAINING FOR LGBT+ PERSONS

HRAPF conducted a training workshop on budget monitoring and assessment for LGBT+ persons. The training was attended by 27 leaders from the the LGBT+ community from various organizations.

The participants were trained as budget development and monitoring champions to advocate for the inclusion of LGBT+ needs in the Uganda national budgeting process. They were also equipped with skills to engage in advocacy on the inclusion of LGBT+ persons needs during the budgeting process.

RADIO TALK SHOWS ON HUMAN RIGHTS&COVID-19

We held three talk shows on the implications of COVID-19 on human rights. The talk shows were held on Next Radio, Bukedde FM and KFM. The target of the talk shows was to create awareness on the concept of human rights, the human rights violations that occurred as a result of COVID-19 guidelines as well as provide a way forward and what can be done by stakeholders in authority to mitigate the human rights violations that have occurred as a result of the COVID19 guidelines and measures.

The talk shows were also an opportunity to echo a call to action of key stakeholders like the Government and law enforcement bodies to respect human rights and employ a human rights based approach as they enforce the COVID 19 guidelines and measures.

HRAPF Team and the Law Reform Commission team after a meeting that discussed the partnership on the campaign to decriminalize Petty Offences In Uganda

STAKEHOLDER TRAININGS

Police Trainings

During the final quarter of the year, we held police trainings on the legal and policy frame work on abortion in Uganda in Kayunga, Buikwe, Mukono and Jinja and a total of 94 police officers were trained on abortion laws.

We also held a police training on the legal and policy framework governing drug use in Uganda in Buikwe and Kayunga districts.

Local Council Leaders training

We held training workshops for local council leaders on discrimination and marginalisation of LGBTI persons in Lira district. The aim of the training was to ensure that LC leaders use their mandate to solve violations of rights of LGBTI persons other than perpetrate them.

Health Workers' training

We also conducted awareness sessions in Mayuge, Kamuli, Kalungu, Sembabule, Kamuli and Wakiso districts for health workers on the legal framework on abortion, general sexual reproductive health and rights with a specific focus on sexual and gender minorities and the concept of marginalisation for LGBTI persons and their lived realities.

Magistrates/Judicial Officers

We held Magistrates / judicial officers’ trainings on marginalisation and discrimination. They were trained on human rights and marginalisation of sexual and gender minorities.

Professor Sylvia Tamale, discussing the concept of marginalization at one of the magistrates trainings

Community Paralegal Trainings

During the quarter, we held paralegal trainings for paralegals working with MSM, Sex workers and LBQ women. The community paralegals were trained on Human Rights and Civil Law through three training modules for each of the constituents.

We are committed to growing our internal capacity and during the quarter we had a number of knowledge enhancement and wellness activities for the HRAPF team

Staff Capacity Building activities

With support from AIDS Fondent, the HRAPF team attended a two day training on HIV Programming. We also conducted a values clarification training for HRAPF staff on issues of drug use and harm reduction in partnership with Uganda Harm Reduction Network (UHRN)

Wellness and Recreational activities

We also had a number of wellness recreational activities like Traditional dance day and Fitness Day and we also celebrated birthdays for the October, November and December babies.

END OF STAFF PARTY 2020

To commemorate the end of a challenging and unprecedent year, we had our end of year annual staff party at our new home, The HRAPF house. We took a moment to celebrate and reflect on our work thus year during the annual review session and then concluded the day with a party. The party was filled with lots of drinks and food and endless entertainment by the staff. The staff of the year award went to Mr. Gerald Isabirye the Finance Officer who was commended for his hard work and commitment. The day ended with a gifting session by the various secret Santas as well as a special gift for all staff members from the Executive Director.

In loving memory of Dr. Charles Kiggundu

Dr. Charles Kiggundu, a senior obstetrician and gynecologist and former president of the Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Uganda died suddenly and unexpectedly of COVID-19 on 29th December 2020. Dr. Kiggundu’s death dealt a huge blow to the medical community and SRHR fraternity in Uganda which he dedicated all his life’s efforts to. He was extremely committed to the wellbeing of mothers and children as well as advocating for, mentoring and teaching on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights and it is no wonder he died doing what he loved to do best. It is terribly unfortunate that as a senior medical practitioner he was unable to access quality health care even in the hospital he dedicated his best years to. The shock of his death to our community will be felt for years to come. We remember him as a loving friend and mentor to many, a committed and agile ally to the SRHR Fraternity in Uganda and a walking encyclopedia on all things SRHR. We are committed to carrying forward his great work and legacy. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

LEARNING RESOURCES

Follow the links below to read all the statements, reports, analyses and researches we published this year.

CATCH UP WITH US VIA OUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS

Taking Human Rights to All