The Uganda Network on Law, Ethics and HIV/AIDS (UGANET) and its partners have launched ‘My body is not a democracy’, a campaign peddled at supporting National Advocacy on Bodily Autonomy and Integrity in Uganda.
It was launched by UGANET in conjunction with Uganda Key Populations Consortium (UKPC), Uganda Network of Young People Living with HIV/AIDS (UNYPA) and the AIDS & Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA).
Speaking at the launch Ms Dorah Kiconco Musingunzi the Executive Director UGANET said the program will ensure everybody’s voice is hard and respected in order to promote and protect everyone’s human right and community engagement and inclusion.
“There is denial of SRHR services and information due to age, race. HIV status and gender norms/stereotype have influenced the increased incidence of violence on AGYWs (Teenage pregnancies, Forced marriages, FGM etc.),” She said at the Naguru Skyz Hotel
Ms Musinguzi stressed that UGANET in this partnership with UNYPA, UKPC, ARASA and other Civil Society Organizations will continue working with the government to advocate for one’s body as integrity and autonomy.
“Today we ask the policy makers gathered here to ensure that they bridge the gaps of inequality, revise the HIV/AIDs criminalization law, and repeal every policy and law that marginalizes human rights.
“The criminal justice system needs to bring to book the perpetrators, and more than magnify what makes us different, lets us celebrate what makes the same, our humanity, our human rights.” She added.
The program also aims at providing possible solutions for young people to get awareness on the basic concept of bodily autonomy and integrity and also help them acknowledge and understand the fact that bodily autonomy and integrity are a basic human right.
That project that will run for the next two years to help young people acknowledge the fact that the right to bodily autonomy and integrity in Uganda is not respected where there are harsh realities.
It will also foster, nurture and remind this generation about Teenage pregnancies which is obviously and evidently still reoccurring, child and forced marriages plus HIV/AIDs related stigma and discrimination in communities
Bruce Tushabe who represented the Executive Director of Uganda Network of Young People Living with HIV/AIDs said that this program will help to achieve a number of things, singularly the coalition among Civil Society Organizations will help bring together young people in protection of one’s body autonomy with self-independence and Integrity.
Asuma Basalirwa, a Member of Parliament Bugiri Municipality stressed that there are fundamental problems that should be addressed even when there is a broken justice system.
“It’s important to take keen interest in broadening our interests in advocating for human rights especially the freedom of speech and freedom of expression.
Dr. Daniel Byamukama Executive Director Uganda Aids Commission implored UGANET and other Civil Society Organizations for attracting and lobbying for international support and asked them to continue demanding for accountability.
He said he had the government to partner and support them on such programs and that they will always provide avenues for NGOs to continue pushing for such campaigns.
Byamukama added that Uganda AIDs Commission as a prevention center would like to hear that everyone’s rights are respected and promoted and they will provide an avenue for this.