ACTSA has, since its foundation had a fundamental commitment to human rights and a recognition that those who are marginalised and vulnerable are most at risk of having these rights denied to them. LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other gender and sexual minorities) people in Southern Africa are especially vulnerable.
In the majority of countries in Southern Africa homosexuality is not only socially rejected but is actually illegal, by penal code or common law, although it is not always criminalised. While there has been some progress, for example, in the last two years homosexuality has been decriminalised in both Mozambique and the Seychelles, challenges remain.
ACTSA is campaigning for LGBT+ rights in Southern Africa and with your help we can do more. Please donate now and help us to support, improve and secure the rights of LGBT+ people across Southern Africa.
In Southern Africa gay marriage is only legal in South Africa, Mozambique, Lesotho and DRC. Even in these countries legal rights have not necessarily led to equal treatment, or prevented discrimination. There are also a number of prominent vocal critics of LGBT+ rights in the region whose hateful rhetoric contributes towards the refusal to recognise LGBT+ people. This can encourage homophobic, transphobic and biphobic violence which often goes unreported and unpunished for fear of backlash.
There are a number of organisations across Southern Africa who do amazing work in securing rights, equality and a reality free from persecution for LGBT+ communities. They work in often hostile environments in many cases facing stigma, rejection and in some cases physical abuse for the work they carry out. Some organisations are unable to speak publicly about the services they offer. ACTSA has always supported working with local partners and we want do more to help these organisations get their message across.
The UK government has pledged to support LGBT+ rights but their lack of targets is a major weakness, a weakness that together we can not only highlight but change. We want to support and empower LGBT+ people to share their experiences and learnings and ensure these are heard by the people with the power to push for better policy, legislation, and positive cultural change.
All people should live free from fear, want and discrimination, please help us to support the LGBT+ communities in Southern Africa to make this a reality.
ACTSA members passed a motion at an AGM stating that it ‘is appalled that homosexuality is illegal in most countries of Southern Africa and noted with horror the attacks on members of LGB&T [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] communities’. Since then we have done research and consultation on what ACTSA, with its limited resources but a clear commitment to human rights for all, can best do to support LGBT+ people.
With your support we will:
1) Increase our work with LGBT+ rights organisations in Southern Africa to promote and support their activities.
2) Support LBGT+ activists, who will be coming over to the UK towards the end of the year, in sharing their experiences and getting their message across to UK policy makers, parliamentarians, civil servants and the media.
3) Work with other UK organisations to ensure that the UK government develops strong targets for including the key issues facing the LGBT+ community in its international development and foreign policy activities.
4) Input into the work of the UN Human Rights Council, in particular its Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Thank you for your support.
Together we can push for change and make a real difference in the campaign for equality, rights and development for all.