As activists advise, no U.K. travel ban on anti-gay Ugandans

Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The United Kingdom is following the advice of Ugandan activists in its decision not to ban visits by homophobic Ugandan politicians in response to the enactment of the harsh Anti-Homosexuality Act there.

During a House of Commons debate, Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire pointed out other steps that the government has taken in Uganda in support of good governance and human rights. He said, as quoted in Pink News:

“The United Kingdom has already ended budget support payments to the Ugandan Government following concerns about corruption last year.

“Our development programme to Uganda goes through a variety of channels, including private sector organisations, NGOs and multilateral agencies.

“And as my Right Honourable Friend the Minister for Africa (Mark Simmons) said in the debate on 12th February, ‘we do not believe imposing travel bans or any other sanctions on supporters of the bill would be effective in promoting a rethink’.”

He also noted that the coalition of Ugandan organizations opposed to the Anti-Homosexuality Act had not included travel bans among its list of responses it recommended to its supporters abroad.

The list included travel advisories to travelers to Uganda, but not travel bans on government officials traveling from Uganda.

The coalition’s specific recommendations are listed in the article “LGBT Ugandans: Here’s how you can help us.”

For more information, see the full Pink News article, “UK Government rules out imposing travel ban on anti-gay Ugandan MPs.”

 

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]

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