Mali

Focus on key populations in national HIV strategic plans in the African region

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines key populations as populations who are at higher risk for HIV irrespective of the epidemic type or local context and who face social and legal challenges that increase their vulnerability.

Acceptance of LGBT people and rights has increased around the world

New Global Acceptance Index ranks 141 countries on LGBT acceptance and legal protections and provides a link between inclusion and GDP per capita. 

African human rights body urges renewed efforts on human rights in response to HIV

On 27 January, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission) launched a groundbreaking report, HIV, the law and human rights in the African human rights system: key challenges and opportunities for rights-based responses.

Cameroon: In Africa, LGBT rights activists worry about Trump impact

Defending LGBT rights can be dangerous in Africa, where many countries have laws against homosexuality. But in recent years activists have stepped out of the shadows, empowered by the support of the Obama administration and the international community.

Niger: Resolution 376 on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in Africa

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, meeting at its 60th Ordinary Session held from 8 to 22 May 2017 in Niamey, Niger.

Africa, Op-ed The challenge of secularism and human rights in Africa

African countries have been facing various challenges since independence and one of these major dilemmas is defining the relationship between religion and politics. At independence, African countries inherited multiple faiths, political religions that seek to control state formation and structure.

This challenge is evident in the controversies that have trailed the introduction and implementation of sharia law in places like Nigeria and Somalia, the violent reactions to religious differences in Sudan and Central African Republic, the ongoing campaign against islamic extremism in Nigeria, Kenya, Mali, Cameroon and in the North of Africa, the heated debates and fierce opposition to the enactment of legislations and policies that protect the human rights of persons particularly those human rights mechanisms that are deemed by some segments of the religious establishment as violations of the dictates and dogmas of their faiths.

Drawing from my experiences growing up in Nigeria and years of keenly following the use of religion for political ends or the use of politics religious ends in countries across the region, this piece highlights how mixing of religion and politics undermines secularism and the realization of Freedom of Religion and Belief (FORB) and human rights broadly. I propose models, not a model of secularism because the situation of religion and politics in Africa is not homogenous and often differs from country to country, sometimes within countries to warrant recommending just a model of secularism that may apply to over 52 countries in the region.  Read more via IEET

West Africa: Mapping of LGBTQ organizations

Commissioned by a group of donors and activists, We exist: Mapping of LGBTQ organizations in West Africa is in an explanatory and participatory process to initiate the creation of a new funding mechanism led by LGBTQ activists West Africa. A group of funders and activists came together in 2013 to propose the creation of a bilingual fund managed and led by West African LGBTQ activists. The creation of such a fund would not only provide emerging leaders with the tools and spaces they need to build a more effective, inclusive movement for LGBTQ rights in West Africa, but also serve as a much-needed activist-owned platform for social change.

It would provide international donors with a safe and trusted mechanism to invest strategically in the region and to ensure their resources were reaching the grassroots with accountability. It would introduce a mechanism through which local strategies could be shared and regional strategies developed collectively, both proactively and in response to crises. Finally, it would provide a point of coordination in a region of Africa where both organizing and donor engagement on LGBTQ rights remains uncoordinated, uneven, and linguistically divided.

The work of setting up such a fund requires a deeper understanding of LGBTQ activism in this vast and diverse region, as well as of the past and current funding landscape and the additional support available for the emerging movement, especially in Francophone countries, where organizing is still largely underground. Therefore, an exploratory and participatory process was undertaken to enable activists, funders, and allies to map the state of LGBTQ organizing in West Africa and gather data to help determine the appropriate initial structure and priorities of the fund.   Read more via Qayn

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