A New report by the Human Rights Awareness and Protection Forum has pinned the police force and other security organs for continued abuse of human rights of sex workers.
Speaking at the release of the findings, Joan Nanyange, the executive director Human Rights Awareness and protection forum insisted that while sex work in Uganda is illegal the police is mandated to protect the workers other than abuse and violate their rights.
Joel Cox Ojuuko, a commissioner with the Equal Opportunities Commission said the findings in the report could not be taken lightly although he declined to officially launch the report titled, Protection of the rights of Female Sex Workers in Uganda 2016.
“I cannot purport to launch the report, but all I can promise is that we shall analyse the report and see what we can adopt as Equal Opportunities Commission,” Ojuuko said.
According to the report, most of Uganda’s sex workers who had been contacted reported a human rights violation by the security organisations especially while arresting them.
“The biggest violators are police and from data gathered,” said Joan Nanyange, the executive director of Human Rights Awareness and Protection Forum.
Nanyange said when sex workers are arrested, they are charged with being idle and disorderly. She said most of these charges are baseless.
Shamira Batte is a sex worker said whenever they are arrested, they are harassed by the police.
“When we are arrested the police doesn’t even have evidence that somebody was selling sex. We end up suffering in the hands of those supposed to protect us,” Batte said.
Anatoli Muleterwa a police commissioner vowed to handle case by case reported in the report, conclusively.
“All police officers cited will be handled in accordance with the law, Muleterwa emphasised.
He however said this does not mean police is in support of sex workers.