Freedom to Work

The Story Equality: The Right to Work is published under the theme/series What does Equality Mean to Us? LGBTI Ugandans Speak out for Equality. Click the theme for similar stories

The right to work is provided for in the Ugandan Constitution as follows; “...Parliament shall enact laws to provide for the rights of persons to work under satisfactory, safe and healthy conditions, to ensure equal payment for equal work without discrimination…”

Most workplaces however don’t have human resource policies that ensure non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, which leads to unfair treatment and no protection at the work place.

Freedom to Work

The set up of the Equal Opportunities Commission Act of Uganda which in principle is to ‘..eliminate discrimination and inequalities against any individual or group of persons …’ has not solved the problem of discrimination of LGBT persons, mostly because the commission established under the Act is set up to deal with cases selectively evidenced under Section 15(6)(d) which deals with matters that the commission may not investigate- any matter involving behavior which is considered to be immoral and socially harmful, or ii) unacceptable by the majority of the cultural and social communities in Uganda. The EOC law, which is essentially meant to correct the imbalances that exist in access to equal opportunities shall instead end up excluding the very disadvantaged communities it is supposed to serve. LGBT organizations in Uganda also experience targeted discrimination and intimidation while operating in Uganda.

Important to note is that on November 10th 2016, the constitutional court allowed the Petition in the case Adrian Jjuuko v AG  thats argued that Section 15(6)(d) of the Equal Oportunites Act breaches the right to fair hearing guaranteed in Article 28 and Article 44 of the constitution. Court held that a law that precludes a group of people from adjuction on violation of their rights and does not create an alternative forum to hear them out breaches the right to fair hearing. Court also held that this limitation on the right to a fair hearing is not acceptable and demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society. 
 

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