A new online platform to assist African LGBTIQ asylum seekers in the many challenges of securing refuge in South Africa has been launched.
Homosexuality is criminalised in more than 30 countries in Africa. South Africa is the only nation on the continent to offer marriage equality and constitutional protection from discrimination. It’s little wonder then that many queer Africans come to the country in an often desperate bid to escape state, social and familial persecution because of their sexuality or gender identity.
South African law, under the Refugees Act 130 of 1998, allows LGBTIQ refugees under threat to apply for asylum. But when they arrive, they are faced with an unfriendly, impenetrable and often homophobic bureaucratic system that seems intent on making it difficult for them to stay.
Created by the Gateway Health Institute, WoZa Life aims to make these individuals’ lives a little easier by providing them with information and resources to navigate their way through the complex asylum seeking process.
The WoZa Life site provides links to useful organisations, information on what to expect before arriving in South Africa, and a comprehensive FAQ that outlines asylum seekers’ rights and the intricacies of the asylum system. The site is said to be safe and secure to use and includes a “safe mode” button at the top of the page that allows a user to instantly turn the page blank.
WoZA Life can be accessed here – wozalife.co.za