Police puzzled with handling transgender persons

Thursday July 23 2020
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Police officers are reportedly facing challenges entering personal details of transgender people given their physical appearance vis-à-vis their sexuality.
According to Mr Isaac Mwesigwa, a security operative, the police information entry forms usually have two gender options (male or female) to be filled in.
He adds that this has since created challenges for them since the forms do not provide for other sexual orientation alternatives like transgender women/men.

"My request to the leaders of the transgender people is that please talk to the top police leadership so that they include other sexual orientation options on the police forms. This is because when we get suspects who fall under transgender movement, we find challenges on entering them into our register," officer Mwesigwa said.
The call was during a dialogue between key stakeholders to sensitive them about transgender women and the need to support them enjoy their human rights.
Transgender people have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their sex assigned at birth.

Some transgender people use medical assistance to transition from one sex to another identify as transsexual.
Pepe Onziema, the programme director of Sexual Minorities Uganda and Esther Gibone, from Transgender Equality Uganda, the facilitators at the dialogue, explained that they had since engaged the police leadership over the same concerns.

"We had a conversation with the former IGP and we were able to identify some hot spot police stations around the city where transgender people were victimized by the officers and the mistreatment has since gone down a bit," Mr Onziema said yesterday.
When this publication contacted Mr Patrick Onyango, the police spokesperson for Kampala Metropolitan Area, he said the current law does not provide for inclusion of transgender people on police forms.
"At the moment, we go with what the law provides. But if there is an amendment to include the space for transgender people on police forms, we shall gladly provide for that," Mr Onyango said.

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