African Values - Why the African Commission's Homophobic Stance Must Be Challenged

analysis

Uganda just became the 33rd African country to criminalise same-sex sexual acts. Despite most African countries having inherited the 'unnatural offences' laws from the British Empire, French and Dutch colonial powers, Africa seems to be moving backwards, with 61% of African countries now being unsafe for the LGBTI community.

Tanveer Jeewa is a legal and communications consultant at the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ). She is an LLM candidate in Public Law at the University of Cape Town, was previously a law clerk at the Constitutional Court and prior to that interned at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia.

Today (17 May) is International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia - a day created to draw the attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. It is an important day, which should ideally remind us of how far we have come in ensuring the protection of the rights and lives of LGBTI people.

Yet, in May 2021, Uganda became the 33rd African country to criminalise same-sex sexual acts. Despite most African countries having inherited the "unnatural offences" laws from the British Empire, French and Dutch colonial powers during colonisation, Africa...

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