- February 6, 2014
Post submitted by Jane WothayaThirikwa, HRC Global Engagement Fellow
Human Rights Campaign is proud to join a coalition letter calling on global HIV donors to support greater protection of LGBT people in Nigeria, including improving systems for preventing violence. The Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF), the Initiative for Equal Rights (TIER) and the International Center on Advocacy for the Right to Health (ICARH) have jointly issued a series of recommendations for key actions for consideration by donors, including President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund.
The Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act not only prohibits same-sex marriage or civil union, but also criminalizes any person who supports the registration of LGBT societies or organization. This provision seriously impacts the ability of LGBT people to access lifesaving and essential HIV treatment and prevention services and also poses a serious threat to all organizations providing such services.
According to UNAIDS, over 3.4 million Nigerians live with HIV, making Nigeria the country with the second largest population of people living with HIV in the world.
Some of the recommendations include establishing an emergency task force to prevent human rights violations against LGBT people and reprogramming grant funds to provide safe spaces for LGBT people, expand access to legal services, and implement violence mitigation interventions.
HRC is engaged with allies on Capitol Hill and within the administration to urge a forceful response from the United States government, in keeping with their commendable commitment to LGBT and other human rights issues overseas.
HRC President Chad Griffin has also called on Secretary of State John Kerry to direct a strong and proactive American response to the humanitarian crisis.