Welsh First Minister: Ugandans should be allowed to work out human rights issues ‘on their own terms’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Following a trip to Uganda, the First Minister of Wales has voiced his concern at the country’s recently passed Anti-Homosexuality Act.

Carwyn Jones said he would work with international groups supporting human rights “on their own terms”, but suggested that Ugandans should not lose out to poverty over human rights concerns.

Speaking on his return at the Wales for Africa International Development Summit, Mr Jones said: “We support projects in Uganda because they alleviate poverty.

“Poverty and inequality in all forms hinder a society from growing and developing. Human rights therefore cannot be separated from the right to live a healthy life and have a decent education.

He went on to say: “The values that we hold to be true: democracy, fairness, equality and human rights are not purely ‘western’ or Welsh ideals. They are the right of all people, gay or straight, in this world that we share.

“It is worth remembering that our own history on LGBT rights has been an often bumpy road, and there is a way to go before the journey is complete. The lessons we’ve learned cannot simply be presented as answers to Ugandan problems but they do teach us that you have to be in it for the long haul to make equality a reality.”

Andrew White, Director of Stonewall Cymru said: “We are increasingly concerned for the safety of LGBT people in Uganda and the implications of the anti-homosexuality law on public health and human rights. There’s a shrinking space in Ugandan civil society to discuss these issues and so I welcome the First Minister’s comments that Welsh Government and third sector organisations will play their part in alleviating poverty and challenging human rights abuses.”