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PRESS STATEMENT: International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia 2017: Commemorating Families of LGBTI People.

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PRESS STATEMENT
17 May 2017

International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia 2017:

Commemorating Families of LGBTI People.

 

In spite of the numerous gains made worldwide towards acceptance and non-discrimination towards people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, in most parts of Africa, these gains are yet to be felt. Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia still persist. States still have, within their laws, provisions that criminalize same-sex conduct. They still do not protect LGBTI people from discrimination based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. Sections of the society still ostracise LGBTI people subjecting them to various forms of abuse including sexual violence and murder, physical violence and forced sterilizations, arbitrary arrests and forced anal testing.

As the world celebrates the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia focusing on families, we at Pan Africa ILGA acknowledge that there is indeed a need to focus on the role of families in the well-being of their LGBTI members. But we are saddened by what is happening in Africa today. We mourn with the family of Matisetso Alleta “Nonkie” Smous, a woman murdered for no other reason other than the fact that she loved another woman. We mourn with the family of Lerato Moloi who was raped and stoned to death because she dared to be different. These South African families and many others in the continent have suffered pain and loss at the hands of people who did not consider their children human.

The importance of families cannot possibly be undermined in the development of a society. When a person in our family leaves, they create a hole. One that cannot be filled by anyone else. Let us remember the many African families that have senselessly lost a loved one. The South African government ought to do something about these deaths of innocent individuals. How long must people suffer over who they are and love? How many more must die before something is done?” Monica Tabengwa – PAI Executive Director

As we celebrate families. Pan Africa ILGA calls on you to think about the families that have lost their loved ones due to homophobia, biphobia or transphobia. We call upon you to think about the LGBTI individuals who cannot be with their families because those families do not accept them for who they are. We call upon you to be the family we all want to have. Because it is love that makes a family.

 

Media Contacts:

Kumkani Sivu Siwisa                                         Anthony Oluoch

sivu.siwisa@panafricailga.org                         anthony.oluoch@panafricailga.org

PRESS STATEMENT

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02 May 2017

Joburg, South Africa: Pan Africa ILGA Welcomes New Staff Members

Pan Africa ILGA welcomes Anthony Oluoch and Sivu Siwisa who are joined us on 2 May 2017 as our new Programmes Manager and Programme Officer: Communications, respectively.

Anthony Oluoch is a Kenyan lawyer who has worked within the LGBTI movement for the past 7 years. He worked as the Legal and Human Rights Officer at the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya where he was instrumental in the design and initial implementation of what was then, a strategy towards decriminalization of adult consensual same sex conduct. He then joined Gay Kenya Trust, an organization that works towards equality and non-discrimination for all including gay and lesbian individuals in Kenya. He currently sits on the advisory panel of the Queen’s Young Leaders Award and the board of the IDAHOT Committee.

Sivu Siwisa is a Black Queer Non-Conforming Feminist and LGBTIAPQ+ activist with a huge appetite for communications, advocacy, movement building and organising. They are a Communications Specialist by training, and are committed to using feminist frameworks to create communications tools and strategies for social justice work across the continent. Sivu has worked for South Africa’s leading advertising agencies as a Copywriter and has also worked at Gender DynamiX as a Media and Communication Officer. They were instrumental in the inception of the Alternative Inclusive Pride and has been an active contributor in organising of Khumbulani Pride. Sivu was named Brand South Africa’s 40 under 40 for their gender activism work and was also named as one of Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans to look out for, for their contribution to Civil Society.
Mr. Oluoch and Siwisa join PAI at a time when the organisation is growing, with the aim to meet its strategic goals for the next three years. They both bring with them a wealth of experience, strength and a vision towards making PAI a regional body that benefits all her members.

We are very proud to have Tony and Sivu joining our team. Please join us in welcoming them! They can be reached at Anthony.Oluoch@panafricailga.org and Sivu.Siwisa@panafricailga.org.

For more enquiries contact Richard Lusimbo-Co-Chair PAI Board at rlusimbo@gmail.com, +27795558219 or Monica Tabengwa-Executive Director at monica@panafricailga.org +27767958245

PAI Extends Their Thanks To Conference Participants

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The Pan Africa ILGA Board and staff would like to extend their heartfelt appreciation and thanks to all those who participated in the 3rd PAI Regional Conference held in Johannesburg, South Africa, May 14-18, 2016.

The event brought together 180 participants from 34 countries in Africa. It attracted a diverse range of expert presentations including by key political figures, judges, human rights commissioners, human rights defenders and activists, donors and other regional and international allies.

The conference was about being part of a community; of belonging to a community of LGBTI citizens who came together to claim their rightful place in the continent; their right to belong in Africa and in their respective countries and communities, as FULL and EQUAL citizens.

The theme of the conference was ‘African Bodies: Breaking Ground Building Bridges”: As we celebrated our diversity and unity we also remembered those who laid the foundations, those who took the initial steps, and whose lives and livelihoods have been lost and/or destroyed, whose bodies have suffered indignity for our cause, and honoured those whose bodies continue to be the battleground of the struggle against inequality, discrimination, segregation and human rights violations!

Because We are proudly Africans, We refuse to be silenced or intimidated by bigotry, hate or intolerance, We shall continue to fight for social justice, equality, inclusion and recognition.

The 4th PAI Regional Conference will be held in 2018 in Gaborone, Botswana, we will be looking forward to more collaboration and community with you! Thank you one, thank you all!!

PLEASE VIEW OUR THANKYOU VIDEO HERE

PAI Satement on SOGI resolution

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Today the UNHRC took yet another positive move towards LGBT equality by adopting a resolution on ‘Protection Against Violence and Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity’. This long anticipated move comes after two other resolutions adopted by the Council in 2011 and 2014 respectively. The resolution, an obvious game changer, establishes the mandate of an Independent Expert on SOGI who is tasked with, inter alia; assessing implementation of existing international human rights law, identifying best practices and gaps, raising awareness of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, engaging in dialogue and consultation with States and other stakeholders, and facilitating provision of advisory services, technical assistance, capacity-building and cooperation to help address violence and discrimination on these grounds.

[For full statement of SOGI resolution please follow the link…]

PAI Satement on SOGI resolution

Statement: UN human rights body establishes an Independent Expert

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For Immediate Release

United Nations Makes History on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity 

UN human rights body establishes an Independent Expert

 

(Geneva, June 30, 2016)

In a defining vote, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on “Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation, and gender identity”, to mandate the appointment of an Independent Expert on the subject. It is a historic victory for the human rights of all persons who are at risk of discrimination and violence because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, 28 human rights groups said today. This resolution builds upon two previous resolutions, adopted by the Council in 2011 and 2014.

 

The Core Group of seven Latin American countries – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Uruguay – and 41 additional countries jointly presented the text.

 

The resolution was adopted by a vote of 23 in favor, 18 against and 6 abstentions.

 

“This is truly momentous,” said Micah Grzywnowicz from the Swedish Federation for LGBTQ Rights, RFSL. “This is our opportunity to bring international attention to specific violations and challenges faced by transgender and gender non-conforming persons in all regions. It’s time for international community to take responsibility to ensure that persons at risk of violence and discrimination because of gender identity are not left behind.”

 

“It’s an historic resolution,” added Josefina Valencia from International LGBTI Association for Latin America and the Caribbean, ILGA LAC. “Latin America has played a very important role to build a common course for the advancement of our human rights. We are proud of the international solidarity and the commitment shown by States for equality.”

 

The positive vote responds to a joint campaign of a record 628 nongovernmental organizations from 151 countries calling on the Council to adopt the resolution and create the SOGI Independent Expert.

 

”It is important to note that around 70% of the organizations are from the global south,” said Yahia Zaidi of MantiQitna Network. “This is a powerful cross regional message of strength to the United Nations to protect the rights of LGBTI persons. The Independent Expert will be a focal point for all violations based on SOGI and hence help grassroots organizations to better utilize the otherwise complex labyrinth of the UN system.”

 

The Expert will be tasked with assessing implementation of existing international human rights law, identifying best practices and gaps, raising awareness of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, engaging in dialogue and consultation with States and other stakeholders, and facilitating provision of advisory services, technical assistance, capacity-building and cooperation to help address violence and discrimination on these grounds.

 

“To have an Independent Expert can be a ‘game-changer’ in counter-acting violence which fuels the HIV epidemic in key populations and more specifically in LGBT communities,” said Alain Kra of Espace Confiance.

 

“It will ease the work of all human rights defenders and it is essential for our governments and people to have the knowledge on how to protect LGBT communities from any violence and discrimination they face,” added Joleen Mataele of the Tonga Leiti’s Association.

 

Although a number of hostile amendments seeking to introduce notions of cultural relativism were adopted into the text by vote, the core of the resolution affirming the universal nature of international human rights law stood firm.

 

We hope that this resolution will mark a turning point in the struggle to create a world free from violence and discrimination for all people regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

 

Results of the vote

 

Voting in favor of the resolution

Albania, Belgium, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Macedonia, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, Panama, Paraguay, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Slovenia, Switzerland, UK, Venezuela, Viet Nam

 

Voting against the resolution

Algeria, Bangladesh, Burundi, China, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Morocco, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Togo, United Arab Emirates

 

Abstaining on the resolution

Botswana, Ghana, India, Namibia, Philippines, South Africa

 

Press contacts

  1. Access Chapter
  2. AIDES France
  3. Amnesty International
  4. ARC International / Arvind Narrain / arvind@arc-international.net / +41 78 632 3605 (Switzerland)
  5. Clóset de Sor Juana AC
  6. Egale Canada Human Rights Trust
  7. Espacio de Mujeres Lesbianas Salvadoreñas por la Diversidad (ESMULES)
  8. Federatie van Nederlandse Verenigingen tot Integratie van Homoseksualiteit – COC Nederland / Alexander Hammelburg / +31622698765 / ahammelburg@coc.nl(Netherlands)
  9. Foundation for SOGI Rights and Justice (FORSOGI), Thailand
  10. FRI, the Norwegian Organisation for Sexual and Gender Diversity
  11. GALANG Philippines
  12. Human Rights Law Centre
  13. Human Rights Watch / John Fisher / fisherj@hrw.org / +41 79 508 3968 (Switzerland)
  14. Iranti-org / Jabu Periera / +27 82 957 5349 (South Africa)
  15. International Commission of Jurists
  16. ILGA LAC, Asociación Internacional de Lesbianas, Gays, Bisexuales, Trans e Intersexuales para América Latina y el Caribe. / Paul Caballero paulcaballero@ilga.org / +54 91 123 974 909 (Argentina)
  17. International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) / André du Plessis / andre@ilga.org / +41 79 678 1229 (Switzerland)
  18. Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO)
  19. LGBT Denmark – the National Organization for Gay Men, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgendered People
  20. MantiQitna Network / Yahia Zaidi /
  21. OutRight Action International / Jessica Stern / +1 917 355 3262 (USA)
  22. Pacific Sexual Diversity Network
  23. Pan Africa ILGA / Monica Tabengwa / monica@panafricailga.org / +27 76 795 8245 (Botswana/South Africa)
  24. Proyecto Arcoiris, colectivo anticapitalista e independiente / +53 5384 9062 / proyectoarcoiriscuba@gmail.com (Cuba)
  25. Samoa Faafafine Association
  26. Swedish Federation for LGBTQ Rights (RFSL) – Micah Grzywnowicz / micah.grzywnowicz@rfsl.se / +46 735 41 96 44 (Sweden)
  27. TLF Share Collective – Philippines
  28. Tonga Leitis Association

 

Résolution OSIG 2016 : Mise à jour et appel à l’action

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-Les états d’Amérique latine prenant le devant pour une résolution OSIG – l’Argentine, l’Uruguay, le Chili, la Colombie et le Brésil – viennent d’annoncer leur intention de présenter une résolution lors de la prochaine session du Conseil des droits de l’homme en juin, en vue de créer un(e) Expert(e) Indépendant(e) de l’ONU pour attirer d’avantage l’attention sur les violations des droits humains fondées sur l’orientation sexuelle et l’identité de genre.

-Une coalition interrégionale d’ONG travaille à soutenir cette initiative historique. Nous vous demandons de soutenir nos efforts de créer un mécanisme de protection pour l’OSIG, en signant la déclaration commune des ONG ICI.

-La proposition s’appuierait sur les résolutions précédentes adoptées par le Conseil des droits de l’homme, y compris la résolution de 2011 sur les droits de l’homme, l’orientation sexuelle et l’identité de genre présentée par l’Afrique du Sud, et la résolution de 2014 présentée par le groupe d’Amérique Latine Centrale.

-Ces résolutions précédentes ont mandaté deux rapports par le Haut-Commissaire des Nations Unies aux droits de l’homme, qui ont documenté des violations graves dans toutes les régions du monde, y compris des cas de meurtre, torture, viol, détention arbitraire, discrimination en matière d’accès aux soins de santé, à l’emploi, au logement et à l’éducation, harcèlement, refus de l’identité de genre auto-identifiée, et d’autres abus. Le Haut-Commissaire a souligné, cependant, des lacunes graves en matière de protection, et a noté le besoin d’un mécanisme pour accorder une attention plus systématique à ces questions.

-Bien que les rapports précédents du Haut-Commissaire fussent des initiatives ponctuelles valables, les ONG ont continuellement souligné le fait que les violations des droits humains fondées sur l’orientation sexuelle et l’identité de genre sont des infractions systémiques, et nécessitent dès lors des réponses systémiques.

-En 2014, plus de 500 ONG de plus de 100 pays – de l’Australie jusqu’au Zimbabwe, de Sainte-Lucie jusqu’aux Samoa, de l’Uruguay jusqu’en Ouganda – ont exprimé leur inquiétude au sujet des abus liés à l’OSIG et ont fait appel au Conseil des droits de l’homme pour adopter une résolution qui garantisse des rapports réguliers, un dialogue constructif et une attention soutenue et systématique accordée à l’étendue des violations des droits humains pour ces motifs.

Maintenant, le moment est venu de traduire cet appel en actions, et d’exhorter l’ONU à mettre en place un mécanisme de suivi pour garantir une attention soutenue et continue accordée aux violations des droits humains fondées sur l’orientation sexuelle et l’identité de genre.

-Un(e) Expert(e) Indépendant(e) pourrait surveiller et documenter les violations des droits humains pour ces motifs, préparer des rapports annuels sur des questions telles que les causes sous-jacentes, nouer le dialogue avec des Etats du monde entier pour augmenter la sensibilisation sur les questions de l’OSIG, identifier les bonnes pratiques et encourager des réformes, aider à faire en sorte que les questions soient mieux intégrées à l’intérieur du système de l’ONU, et soutenir la société civile et les ONG qui s’occupent de ces questions. De plus, nous demandons que le mécanisme soit mandaté explicitement pour aborder les formes multiples et convergentes de discrimination, aider à ouvrir le dialogue auprès de l’ONU sur un éventail plus large de questions liées aux droits sexuels et à l’autonomie physique, identifier des domaines requérant une attention redoublée, et ouvrir la voie au progrès continu dans ces domaines. Cliquez ICI pour consulter la foire aux questions contenant plus d’information sur ce qu’un Expert Indépendant de l’ONU pourrait réaliser et quelle est son importance.

Déclaration commune de la société civile concernant l’Expert(e) Indépendant(e) de l’ONU sur l’OSIG

-Nous savons que dans les semaines à suivre, la résolution proposée par les gouvernements d’Amérique Latine rencontrera une résistance vigoureuse de certaines forces hostiles aux questions de l’orientation sexuelle et de l’identité de genre. Nous vous demandons de signer la déclaration de soutien ICI aujourd’hui, et de nous joindre dans notre appel à l’ONU pour adopter une position ferme contre la violence et la discrimination pour ces motifs.

Joint Civil Society Statement on establishing a UN Independent Expert to ensure sustained attention to human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity