Togo

Human Rights Watch Country Profiles: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

The following country profiles are derived in part from sections of the Human Rights Watch 2019 World Report that relate to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

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.

The question of the death penalty

The resolution condemns the imposition of the death penalty as a sanction for specific forms of conduct

U.S. opposes UN resolution against death penalty for same-sex relations

The U.S. on Sept. 29 voted against a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution that condemns the death penalty for those found guilty of committing consensual same-sex sexual acts.

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

Read the full report

 

Africa: Voices from LGBT Catholics in Western Africa

A report commissioned by the European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups showcases the voices of LGBT Christians from Western Africa were not well heard in the on-going discussion about the Family Synod of the Roman Catholic Church. The findings are based on interviews conducted by Davis Mac-Iyalla with Catholic LGBT people in Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria.

From the many interviews conducted, it has become clear that LGBT people in West Africa have a hard life. They are openly persecuted both by the state and the church and feel abandoned. It is sad to say that many LGBTs are “marginalized and hated in life and marginalized and hated in death.” The anti-gay laws in these countries prevent constructive dialogue between the state, church and LGBTs. This isolates LGBTs and propagates fear, hatred and even violence against the LGBT community.

Despite all of this, Catholic LGBT’s do not want to walk away from the Catholic Church. They want to be accepted, to be welcomed by the church, to have dialogue, and education. Above all, they want equality both in their personal lives and in their church to live in a nurturing environment not one of condemnation. Read More via Washington Blade 

Kenya: African LGBTIQ youth speak out

Young African LGBTIQ activists from Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, and Uganda attending the Fifth Changing Faces Changing Spaces conference in Kenya gathered together to discuss issues affecting LGBTIQ youths in Africa. The participants shared our collective observations that the voices of young LGBTIQ Africans are quite often not heard even within LGBTIQ spaces.

There is the erroneous belief that young people lack the ability and capacity to organize due to lack of professional experience as well as misconception about their ability for self-determination around their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. These among other factors have silenced the voices of young LGBTIQ Africans in the struggle for LGBTIQ rights in the continent.

We, young LGBTIQ Africans are a huge part of the movement and in so many instances lead organizations that are not necessarily youth focused but are at the forerun in the struggle for LGBTIQ rights in our regions and countries. We have proven to be a driving force of the movement in Africa; both as leaders and as beneficiaries and are changing the notion that young people are being “recruited” into homosexuality in Africa. Read More 

The State of LGBT Equality in Africa

Months after Uganda's Constitutional Court overturned its Anti-Homosexuality Act, which prescribed life in prison for many instances of gay sex, nearly identical legislation returned — this time in the Gambia.