The Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room in the Palace of Nations

Nicaragua’s indigenous peoples and Uganda’s LGBTIQ+ community highlighted at UN Human Rights Council

News 27.07.2023

Right Livelihood drew the international community’s attention to global human rights abuses during the 53rd session of the UN Human Rights Council. Our statements specifically focused on the dangerous implications of Uganda’s Anti-homosexuality Act and the ongoing humanitarian crisis facing indigenous communities in Nicaragua.  

Right Livelihood addressed the Council in Geneva as part of the foundation’s Advocacy work.

Read our advocacy highlights for the 53rd Session of the HRC.

In particular, we highlighted the following issues:

Calling attention to Nicaragua’s humanitarian crisis 

Right Livelihood alerted the Council to the humanitarian crisis facing the indigenous peoples of Nicaragua.

Since the beginning of 2023, nine indigenous persons have been killed, five injured and nine kidnapped as a direct result of the illegal invasions on indigenous lands in Nicaragua. An additional 39 families have been forcibly displaced. 

Lottie Cunningham Wren, a lawyer from the Miskito indigenous group and 2020 Right Livelihood Laureate, has played a crucial role in protecting indigenous lands and communities from exploitation in Nicaragua.

In our statement, we condemned the Nicaraguan government for its complicity in perpetuating the humanitarian crisis, and accordingly, asked the Council to hold Nicaragua accountable for its abuses.

Right Livelihood also asked the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for concrete recommendations on how states can protect the rights of indigenous peoples on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua.

In response, the High Commissioner said that he is trying to organise a regional dialogue on the plight of indigenous peoples.

Safeguarding Uganda’s LGBTIQ+ community

Uganda’s recently passed Anti-homosexuality Act was a great priority for Right Livelihood at the Council.

In addition to a statement on the topic, we held a panel discussion with Victor Madrigal Borloz, the UN Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, 2015 Right Livelihood Laureate Kasha Nabagesera and other civil society actors. 

During our statement, we warned of the Anti-homosexuality Act’s ability to influence lawmakers across the region to adopt similar legislation. To prevent this from happening, we called on the Council to urge Ugandan authorities to adhere to their international human rights obligations and repeal the law.

This message was reiterated during the panel discussion, where experts and activists detailed how the act has already had devastating impacts on LGBTIQ+ peoples’ health and safety, as well as their access to housing and healthcare.

The panel discussion participants also outlined the international community’s role in reversing the law, specifically calling on them to engage in public statements and dialogues to promote respect and tolerance for LGBTIQ+ people.

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