Last week, Uganda’s President Museveni signed the law imposing harsh penalties for homosexuality. As the President of Canada’s largest private sector union, I write to urge you to take action to show Canada’s condemnation of this law, recall Canada’s consular representative from Kampala and introduce special immigration measures.
Your government has condemned the Ugandan law and have said passing this law “will serve as an impediment in our relationship with the Ugandan government.” You have personally said that Canada will continue to support efforts to decriminalize homosexuality and combat violence against people on the basis of their sexual orientation. These are hollow words without concrete measures. Recalling Canada’s consular representative is a first step to putting actions behind your words.
We also call on your government to institute special immigration measures for LGBT refugees from Uganda and all jurisdictions criminalizing homosexuality. This type of persecution is at the heart of why we have refugee protection.
As a worker-based organization, Unifor stands in solidarity with workers across the globe – and that includes workers who are most vulnerable.
Unions such as ours in Canada have used our collective strength to push for changes in the workplace and in legislation, such that our country has become a global leader on LGBT rights. We have used our resources and our energies to educate Canadian workers on LGBT issues, and I know this has been an important part of making Canada a safer place for lesbians, gays, bisexual and trans people and their families. We must use our voice and our efforts to ensure workers around the world live with nothing less.
We call on you to take action to ensure the safety and rights of LGBT residents in Uganda. Words are not enough.
- Jerry Dias