Brussels, 26 March 2014 – Protection International (PI) was invited by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) EU office in Brussels to deliver a workshop on a Protection and Security Management for Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) Defending Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Rights in Africa. The session aimed to share PI’s long-standing experience on security and protection with a selected group of LGBTI defenders from Africa.
Delivered by Mauricio Angel, Policy, Research and Training Officer at PI, the session addressed some of the manifold dimensions involved in the elaboration of a protection and security strategy, including group activities to allow participants to better understand the principles underlying risk assessments and the elaboration of security plans. Ultimately, the session aimed at promoting a lively exchange on the urging need by civil society organisations promoting and defending SOGI rights to adopt comprehensive protection and security management practices.
Indeed, risks are inherent to the lives of LGBTI defenders in many countries, including African ones. This is so because they face multiple discriminations by multiple actors in oppressive environments, involving conservative cultural and religious values, traditional policies and decision-making processes that favour harassment, criminalisation and even physical aggressions against them.
Participation included the following defenders: Cesnabmihilo Dorothy Aken’Ova (International Center for Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights, INCRESE; Nigeria); Stéphane Nicanor Koche (Dignity For All, DFA; Cameroon); Gift Trapence (Centre for the Development of People, CEDEP; Malawi); Mac-Darling Cobinnah (Centre for Popular Education and Human Rights; Ghana); Aundrea N Mudakane (Trans Bantu; Zambia); Dawn Cavanagh (Coalition of African Lesbians, CAL; South Africa); John Abdallah “Long Jones” Wambere (Spectrum Uganda Initiatives; Uganda); and Junique Wambya (Freedom and Roam Uganda, FARUG; Uganda).
PI’s workshop took place within the framework of a week-long capacity-building session “LGBTI rights in European and African politics” organised by the FES EU office in Brussels from 24 to 28 March.