LGBT human rights in Africa: struggles and strategies
Rui Garrido (ISCTE - University Institute of Lisbon)
50 George Square, G.06
Wednesday 12 June, 14:15-15:45

Short abstract:

The issue of sexual orientation and gender identity remains one of the biggest human rights challenge worldwide, particularly in African societies. The panel aims to discuss the state of the art regarding the LGBT human rights in the continent, its struggles, developments, and backlashes.

Long abstract:

The Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014, raised attention to the problem of legal persecution of homosexuals in Africa. But Uganda was the tip of the iceberg. Some other African countries decided to adopt restrictive and discriminatory legislation against homosexual citizens, challenging the fundamental rights and liberties enshrined in their national constitutions as well as its international human rights commitments. The recent anti-gay crackdowns, in October and November 2018, in Tanzania and Tunisia, are symptoms of prevalent state homophobia in Africa. The recognition of NGO's is also problematic in the African context. Many NGO's cannot access to legal recognition, or have to adopt different names in order to be able to work legally. Some countries adopt legislation that made LGBT NGO's illegal (such as the Nigerian Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, 2013). In the African Union political landscape, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights was under pressure for having recognized the status of observer to a South African NGO named Coalition of African Lesbians. The NGO lost observer status in August 2018, after a very hostile approach of the AU's Executive Council to the African Human Rights Commission. The panel is open to receive communications on different perspectives about the debate of Human Rights of LGBT in Africa, in particular, empirical studies are very welcome to this discussion.