In November 2010 a conference for the Commercial Sex Workers Leadership Institute [SWLI] was cancelled on the orders of the Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Nsaba Buturo.
In an official letter to the Serena Victoria Hotel (Kampala), where the conference was meant to be held, Buturo wrote:
“It has come to my knowledge that an organisation known as Akina Mama Wa Africa is planning to conduct a seminar for prostitutes at your hotel from the 18th to 20th November 2010. I am reliably informed that participants will come from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. If this information is correct and we will soon find out, I should inform you that prostitution is a criminal offence in Uganda. By allowing your premises to Akina Mama Wa Africa for purposes of conducting this seminar, it is concluded that the hotel is an accomplice in an illegality.
This is therefore to inform you that government will not find it acceptable that management of Serena Victoria hotel should be promoting and defending a criminal act”.
In a public statement opposing the shutdown of the conference Amnesty International pointed out that the Ugandan Constitution affirms the right to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association. The enforcement of this discrimination against sex workers makes it impossible for them to improve their situations.