Summary: African Commission adopts landmark resolution on protection of LGBTI rights

22nd May 2014: African civil society organisations and human rights defenders have welcomed the adoption by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights of the resolution Protection Against Violence and other Human Rights Violations Against Persons on the Basis of their Real or Imputed Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity. The resolution was adopted at the Commission’s most recent session in Angola from 28th April to 12th May 2014.

This landmark resolution is the strongest document to date from the African Commission recognising the need for the protection of the human rights of LGBTI people. It acknowledges that human rights violations based on people’s real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity breach the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and calls on States Parties to “ensure that human rights defenders are able to work in an environment free from stigma, reprisals or criminal prosecution as a result of their human rights protection activities.” It also urges States to end impunity for acts of violence and abuse against LGBTI people.

SRT grantee AMSHeR has lobbied the African Commission for some years for a resolution on the human rights of LGBTI people (along with other African LGBTI groups including SRT grantee UHAI). Joel Gustave Nana, AMSHeR’s executive director, said, “The Commission in its mandate to promote and protect the human rights of all, has, by passing this resolution, heard the strong call of those who are subjected to violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression across Africa […] African civil society organisations, activists and human rights defenders call on all African States to immediately take action to end this violence and wide-ranging human rights violations by aligning legislation, policies and institutional frameworks with the standards set, through this Resolution, by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.”

Full statement from AMSHeR’s website:

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