Registration for the 2018 PAI conference is now open!

Registration for the conference is now open! There has been a lot of interest shown in this year’s conference and we’re expecting record attendance. Book your spot now. http://panafricailga.org/register/

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PAI 4th Regional LGBTI Conference – REGISTRATION OPENS 17 November!

13 November at 11:22 

PAI 4th Regional LGBTI Conference – REGISTRATION OPENS 17 November!

Planning for our 4th Regional LGBTI Conference is picking up speed and we are excited to announce that the registration portal will open on the 17th of November.

The conference, co-hosted by LEGABIBO, will take place in Gaborone, Botswana from the 31st May to the 4th of June 2018. Please save the dates. We look forward to hosting you and creating a space that enables open dialogue about the role of the youth in moving the African LGBTI communities upwards and onwards.

We shall soon announce the opening of the portals for scholarship applications and abstract submissions.23518927_1588902397864103_3850230564310113137_n

PRESS RELEASE: Tanzania Police Arrests 13 for ‘homosexuality’!

20 October 2017

Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania

PRESS STATEMENT
On Tuesday, 17 October 2017, a legal consultation convened by Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) and Community Health Services and Advocacy (CHESA) was raided by the Tanzanian Police. The consultation was convened in order to get more instructions and evidence on a case that we plan to file before a court. The case concerns a challenge to government’s decision to limit the provision of certain health services that it had previously provided.
Thirteen people were detained. No one has been charged but all were granted bail. On Wednesday, the Regional Commissioner of police issued a press statement, referring to the “arrests” and stated that twelve people who were promoting homosexuality had been arrested. On Friday 20 October 2017, the bail was revoked for everyone for no reason. They were advised that a fresh investigation process is starting and everyone is taken to custody. This mischaracterisation of a legal consultation where lawyers and their clients were discussing a very specific case to be referred to the court is unfortunate. The police had a copy of the concept note and the agenda of the consultation.  Three lawyers were part of the group, that was detained, and include ISLA’s executive director, Sibongile Ndashe.
The Tanzanian Constitution enshrines the right to seek legal redress when fundamental rights have been violated (Art 30(3)). The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ rights, which Tanzania is a signatory to, also recognises an individual’s right to an appeal to competent national organs against acts violating his fundamental rights as recognised and guaranteed by conventions, laws and customs in force (Art 7(a)). Tanzania is a signatory to a number of international human rights treaties that recognizes these and other related rights.

 

We view this as an attempt to intimidate citizens from approaching judicial institutions when their rights have been violated, to create an environment where lawyers are afraid to provide legal representation and to ultimately create an environment where it is unthinkable to hold the state accountable for human rights violations. There is no legal basis for these proceedings. We call upon Tanzanian authorities to discontinue the ongoing persecution of lawyers and their clients, allow citizens to access legal representation without intimidation and to allow the foreign nationals whose passports have been seized to leave the country.

Issued by CHESA and ISLA.

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LGBTI COMMUNITY IN SELEBI PHIKWE CRY OUT FOR A SUPPORT GROUP

By: @OTSETSWE KOOTLHOKILE

People of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI), often in rural communities, often have to live a discreet life. A secret existence boxed in conservative and confirmative societies that if they dare break from the norm, run the risk of being labelled abnormal.

For those brave enough, coming out as a homosexual is often closely followed by community and family backlash. The LGBTI community are often alienated by the very same community that has sworn to love, protect and support them at all times. The LGBTI community in Selebi Phikwe, has also had its fair share of abuse and ridicule from their closest kin. While some have managed to mend fences with community and family, some are still left to deal with the aftermath of their disclosure of their sexuality on their own.

The LGBTI community in Selebi Phikwe argue that they get little support and a support group would be very much welcome in the mining town. The LGBTI community argues that despite living conditions being bearable, there is a gap that only a support group could fill. Thato*, a gay man living in Selebi Phikwe, says there is a lot a support group can do to support the LGBTI community. “Most people think because we are not constantly harassed or bullied, all is well in Phikwe. I believe we need support in Phikwe in areas such as community and emotional support”. Thato says despite being accepted by his community and parents, he still feels there is a long way to go. “I am openly gay but that has not made it easier. I sometimes feel it has made my life a bit harder”. He goes on to further relate his story. “I have been openly gay since I was in senior secondary school. I have had teachers say really demeaning remarks to me and never told anyone about it because I could not identify anyone who could help me to deal with that. My parents even though they say they have accepted me, when we fight, they will say something really homophobic and it’s really hard to know where I stand with them”. Kabo* a gay man, also believes there is a need for a support group in Phikwe to help the LGBTI community deal with the issues they deal with every day. “When I came out to my family, they threatened to kick me out but they didn’t follow through. If they had followed through I don’t know where I would have gone to. I am unemployed and my family believes it’s because I live a life of sin as a homosexual, that’s why I can’t get a job. We need a support group that offers services such as shelter and counselling to LGBTI community in Phikwe”.

Thabo*, a self-confessed staunch Christian shares a story of a dream denied because of his sexual orientation. “My dream growing up was to be a praise and worship singer in any church. I went to a local church hoping I would be roped in but in one of the services the pastor revealed to the whole church that I am homosexual and I need to be delivered from that ‘spirit’. I never went back to that church and in fact I haven’t been to any church ever since”. Kabo says the church incident has since weighed heavily on him psychologically. “I tried to get counselling at the local hospital but if felt the counselor could not be bothered with what I was I was going through. Maybe if we had counselors that knew how to deal with LGBTI related cases. Most LGBTI would get better emotional and psychological support”.

Currently, the only support group that offers any sort of support to the LGBTI community in Selebi Phikwe is HIV non-governmental organization Silence Kills support group. The support group offers services such as, HIV prevention interventions, HIV counselling and referrals for treatment.

.*not real name

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Press Release: Botswana High Court Rules in Landmark Gender Identity Case

29 September 2017, Gaborone, Botswana

On Friday 29 September 2017, the Lobatse High Court, per Justice Nthomiwa handed down judgment in a case which challenged the refusal of the Registrar of National Registration to change the gender marker on the identity document of a transgender man.

The Court held that the refusal to change the applicant’s gender marker was unreasonable and violated his rights to dignity, privacy, freedom of expression, equal protection of the law, freedom from discrimination and freedom from inhumane and degrading treatment.

The Court ordered the respondents to change the gender marker on the applicant’s identity document (Omang) from ‘female’ to ‘male’ to protect his dignity and well-being.

The Court previously issued an order that the applicant’s names and personal details remain confidential. The applicant was represented by Tshiamo Rantao and Lesego Nchunga and supported by the Southern Africa Litigation Centre and Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa.

“This is an immense relief” says the applicant. “It has been difficult waiting for the matter to take its course through the courts, and I am hopeful that other persons who find themselves in a similar situation will be dealt with in a more respectful manner when they apply for new identity cards.”

“This is a monumental victory for the rights of transgender persons in the region. The judge’s finding that the refusal to change a transgender person’s identity documents violates constitutional rights, goes a long way in improving the lives of transgender persons”, says Tashwill Esterhuizen, LGBT and Sex Worker Rights Programme Lawyer at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre.

“It has been a difficult journey but we are elated with the outcome. The impact of this case should not be underestimated. If properly implemented, it has the potential to positively change the lives of transgender persons” says Ian Southey-Swartz, LGBTI Programme Manager at the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa.

Background to case

The applicant is a transgender man. Though he was assigned a female sex at birth, he self-identifies as a man. The applicant presented psychological and medical evidence to the effect that his innate gender identity is and has always been male and that the failure of the State to formally recognise his gender identity has caused him significant trauma. The applicant submitted that his identity document should reflect his gender identity, which only became apparent after his birth. The applicant further submitted that the National Registration Act allows the Registrar to change any particulars of a registered person and to issue that person with a new identity card if there has been a material change to their circumstances.

For more information contact:

Tshiamo Rantao, the applicant’s lawyer

E-mail: tshiamo@rantaokewagamang.co.bw

Tashwill Esterhuizen, Southern Africa Litigation Centre

Email: tashwille@salc.org.za

Issued by the Southern Africa Litigation Centre and Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa

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VACANCY: FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION MANAGER

VACANCY: FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION MANAGER

25 August 2017

Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO) is a registered Non-governmental, non-profit organization established in 1998 and registered in April 2016. LEGABIBO advocates and promotes the human rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and intersex persons. As a newly registered small organization, LEGABIBO is looking to recruit a Finance and Administration Manager.

Job Summary

To manage the organizations’ financial affairs, longer-term financial projections and ensuring that the most efficient and effective financial control systems and reporting mechanisms are in place.

Requirements

Qualifications: Accounting and finance qualifications and post qualification experience within the NGO and non-profit field.

Experience: At least 5 years experience in a Managing role with 2 years experience with NGO and non-profit field.

Competencies

  • Planning, Budgeting, resource mobilization
  • Human Resource management
  • Communication, negotiation and relationship building skills.
  • Knowledge of global financial standards and accounting packages
  • Multi-tasking, prioritization, ethical, integrity, credibility, and dedication to the mission and vision of LEGABIBO

To apply forward you CV, covering letter with names and contact details of 2 referees to: The LEGABIBO CEO, ceo@legabibo.org +267 3167425

Closing date 7th September 2017

Download PDF here

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