- May 28, 2014
Post submitted by Yushuang Sun, HRC Global Engagement Intern
Last week the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted a landmark resolution prohibiting discrimination and violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender persons. The resolution appears to be the first time that the African Commission has publicly voiced support for the LGBT community.
Resolution 275 acknowledges the universal rights of LGBT individuals and condemns the increasing incidence of violence on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity. It urges state parties to enact appropriate laws to end all acts of violence and punishment. Moreover, the resolution also calls on to ensure that LGBT rights defenders work in an enabling environment.
The head of the International Service for Human Rights’ Africa Programme, Clement Voulé, praised this resolution as “historic, important, and timely.”
The ISHR also called for a thorough report from United Nations on violations against LGBT individuals in Africa. Mr. Voulé claimed that “it comes at a time when it is anticipated and hoped that the UN Human Rights Council will adopt a follow up to its first ever resolution on LGBT rights in 2011.”
The adoption of this resolution is important as many parts of Africa have seen an increased intolerance toward LGBT minorities. This year, Uganda passed the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Act, which stipulates that same-sex relationships are illegal, and in Nigeria, the government passed a bill that outlaws same-sex marriage and LGBT organizing.
HRC welcomes the passage of this historic resolution.