Dutch government halts cooperation with Uganda over anti-LGBT legislation


Western Europe


The Dutch queen Maxima visits an African brewery. Photo ANP, Patrick van Katwijk

The Netherlands will reduce its cooperation with Uganda because the African nation has passed controversial anti-gay legislation. The Dutch government will stop law enforcement programmes.

"It is dreadful that Uganda is choosing for extreme anti-LGBTIQ+ legislation", Dutch Minister Liesje Schreinemacher (Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation) stated to Dutch media.

In the coming years, Holland will be spending over 25 million euros on discontinued cooperation. The Western European country, however, will continue to "actively support" the LGBT community in the African nation.

The new Ugandese legislation may also affect other Dutch cooperation programmes in Uganda; the Dutch government still has to decide. Wopke Hoekstra, the Dutch minister for Foreign Affairs, says to be "deeply disappointed" that the law was passed. He wrote so on Twitter. "The Netherlands stands for the defence of human rights for all and strongly calls on Uganda to do the same."

On Monday, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni approved a law considered one of the toughest against LGBT people globally. This drew fierce criticism from Western governments, international companies and human rights organisations. Among other things, the law allows HIV patients to face the death penalty if they have sexual contact with someone of the same sex.

The signing of the law was also met with criticism in Germany. It violates basic human rights, said Federal Development Minister Svenja Schulze. The United States meanwhile, is also considering sanctions and travel restrictions against anyone "involved in serious human rights abuses."



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