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Announcement: Civil Society Pre-Conference to the African Regional Seminar on Addressing Violence and Discrimination against persons based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE)

17 February 2016

For Immediate Release

The Collective for Advocacy on Sexual Rights in Africa (CASRA), comprised of African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR), the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL), Heartland Alliance and the Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA), in collaboration with Pan Africa ILGA, will host a conference for regional civil society organisations and individuals preceding the much anticipated Regional Seminar on Ending Violence and Discrimination Based on SOGIE from February 29 to March 2, 2016.

The pre-conference will bring together civil society advocates from across the continent, including those working on sexuality, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, to discuss, strategise, clarify and build a common agenda for messaging and approach during the Regional Seminar.

Background

At its 55th Ordinary Session in Luanda, Angola, in April-May 2014, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) adopted Resolution 275 for Protection against Violence and other Human Rights Violations on the basis of real or imputed Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity. This resolution places all human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression under the jurisdiction of the ACPHR as mandated by the African Charter. Resolution 275 came at a time when a number of countries were adopting or reviewing legislation targeted at persons perceived to not conform to dominant understandings of gender identity and expression and sexual orientation. It also came at a time when multiple and varied attacks and assault on the dignity of gender non-conforming people were escalating and the impacts of these attacks becoming more severe. It is thus significant that the Commission, in its appreciation of the evolving situation of human rights issues on the continent, chose to pay attention to these violations and infringements. Since its adoption, Resolution 275 has opened doors to a more systematic and sustained engagement with African states on these issues.

The Process

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in collaboration with the South African Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJ) and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) will host a three-day regional seminar aimed at addressing violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression (the “Regional Seminar”). The Regional Seminar will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, 3-5 March 2016.

The focus of the seminar will be on finding practical solutions to the challenges of addressing violence and discrimination against persons based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. The objective of the seminar is to facilitate an open, constructive, informed and transparent dialogue on the issue of discrimination and acts of violence against individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression and generate greater understanding of the root causes and varied manifestation of these challenges.

Contact:

For any further enquiries please contact CASRA Liaison Nandi Msezane at 011 403 0004/7 or +27 79 643 1675

Follow the conversations on Social Media at:

@UkomboziKwaAfri

@AMSHeRorg

@ISLAfrica

@heartlandhelps

@CALAdvocacy

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