African Countries Oppose Appointment of UN Gay Rights Envoy – allAfrica.com

On Nov 5, 2016 All Africa reported: African states have drafted a resolution, calling for the suspension of the UN’s new LGBTI investigator. The 54-member Africa group says concentrating on gay rights takes away from other issues, including racism.

Speaking on behalf of African countries, Botswana’s ambassador told a General Assembly human rights committee on Friday that the council should not be looking into “sexual orientation and gender identity”.

“Those two notions are not and should not be linked to existing international human rights instruments,” said Charles Ntwaagae.

The 54-national African Group said it opposes the creation of an independent investigator to investigate human rights violations against Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people.

The group is concerned that gay rights issues would take precedence over “other issues of paramount importance, such as the right to development and the racism agenda.”

Experienced rights champion

International law professor Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand was appointed in September by the UN Human Rights Council.

Muntarbhorn’s three-year mandate to fight anti-gay crimes was approved despite strong objections from several Muslim countries.

His appointment was made after research revealed how hundreds of LGBTI people have been killed and thousands injured in recent years due to their sexuality. Muntarbhorn is due to carry out country visits, and raise allegations of rights violations with UN members.

Some African filmmakers dare to break the silence surrounding the gay community in Africa. They portray the hopes and struggles of Africa’s LGBT. The Afrikamera film festival takes the stories to Berlin’s silver screen. (04.11.2016)

Persecution of homosexuals in Africa hinders fight against AIDS

Life is dangerous for Africa’s gays and lesbians, despite a resolution from the African Commission for Human Rights. The UN warns that the persecution of homosexuals is hindering the fight against AIDS. (18.07.2014)

Push to reintroduce Ugandan anti-gay law

A Ugandan anti-gay law thrown out on a technicality could be re-submitted to the country’s parliament as early as next week. Several anti-gay legislators want a prompt fresh vote on the measure without lengthy debate. (06.08.2014)

In Kenya, Obama calls for greater rights for gay community

During a landmark visit to his father’s homeland Kenya, US President Barack Obama has called for greater rights for the gay community in Africa. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has said it was a “non-issue.” (25.07.2015)

Anti-gay sentiment on the rise in Africa

As the world mourns the victims of the Orlando attack, members of the LGBT community in many African countries are facing increasing persecution, with anti-gay laws tightening around the continent. (17.06.2016)

The draft resolution questioning the legality of Muntarbhorn’s mandate will be put to a vote on Tuesday. If adopted it would then need to be voted upon later this year by the General Assembly.

Discrimination still dominates

Seventy-three countries – almost 40 percent of all UN members – still have laws on their books making homosexuality a crime.

Read more at African Countries Oppose Appointment of UN Gay Rights Envoy – allAfrica.com

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