Protecting the human rights of sexual minorities in contemporary Africa
Edited by Sylvie Namwase and Adrian Jjuuko
ISBN: 978-1-920538-60-6
Pages: 323
Print version: Available
Electronic version: Free PDF available

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About the publication

This collection of essays, Protecting the human rights of sexual minorities in contemporary Africa, contains papers that were first presented at a colloquium on sexual minority rights in Africa, which took place at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in December 2014. This event was made possible with the generous support of the Government of the Kingdom of Norway, through its Embassy in South Africa. These papers were subsequently peer-reviewed and reworked. Viewing homosexuality through a legal and rights-based prism, this volume brings together fourteen essays focusing on various aspects of homosexuality, covering a wide rage of countries from across the continent. The situation in nine countries (Botswana, Cameroon, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe) is reviewed; while other contributions are more regional in their perspective. This makes this publication one of the most comprehensive collections of African voices on this topic. For too long African voices have been silent on the fledgling discourse on sexual minorities. This volume seeks to amend this shortcoming.

The editors and authors and contributors are not only African, but also, with a few exceptions, graduates of the Centre’s Master’s programme in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa. The publisher is an African-based publisher, the Pretoria University Law Press (PULP), based at the Centre for Human Rights.

About the editors:

Sylvie Namwase is a doctoral candidate at the Centre on Human Rights in Conflict at the University of East London, United Kingdom. Her doctoral project is entitled ‘The use of excessive force against demonstrators: Law enforcement versus crimes against humanity.’ She obtained her Bachelors Degree of Laws (2008) at Makerere University, Uganda and completed her LLM in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa in 2011 at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa. There, she was a member of a clinical group that researched the rights of sexual minorities in Africa.

BAdrian Jjuuko is a Ugandan human rights lawyer and advocate. He is the Executive Director of Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF), a human rights NGO providing legal aid services to LGBTI, sex workers and other marginalised groups in Uganda. Adrian played a leading role in coordinating the legal efforts to challenge the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014 in Uganda’s Constitutional Court and at the East African Court of Justice. He holds an LLM in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa from the University of Pretoria and is a researcher and an author with research interests in the rights of sexual minorities, health and reproductive rights, and children’s rights. He is currently a doctoral candidate at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria.

Table of Contents

Abbreviations and acronyms
List of laws
List of cases

1. Sexual minorities’ rights in Africa: What does it mean to be human; and who gets to decide?
Sylvie Namwase, Adrian Jjuuko and Ivy Nyarango

2. A triple heritage of sexuality? Regulation of sexual orientation in Africa in historical perspective
John Osogo Ambani

3. Culture versus homosexuality: Can a right ‘from’culture be claimed in Ugandan courts?
Sylvie Namwase

4. Decriminalisation of homosexuality in Kenya: The prospects and challenges
Seth Muchuma Wekesa

5. Somewhere over the rainbow: The continued struggle for the realisation of lesbian and gay rights in South Africa
Ella Scheepers and Ishtar Lakhani

6. First class Constitution, second class citizen: Exploring the adoption of the third-gender category in South Africa
Busisiwe Deyi

7. The suppression of sexual minority rights: A case study of Zimbabwe
Esau Mandipa

8. A psycho-legal reflection on issues surrounding the LGBTI community in Mauritius
Roopanand Amar Mahadew and Darsheenee Singh Raumnauth

9. The legal status of sexual minorities in Mozambique
Emerson Lopes

10. The status of LGBTI rights in Botswana and its implications for social justice
Lame Charmaine Olebile

11. Human rights and the criminalisation of same-sex relationships in Nigeria: A critique of the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 203
Victor Oluwasina Ayeni

12. Protecting same-sex rights in Nigeria: Case note on Teriah Joseph Ebah v Federal Government of Nigeria
Azubike Chinwuba Onuora-Oguno

13. The status of sexual minority rights in Cameroon
Michel Togue

14. The protection and promotion of LGBTI rights in the African regional human rights system: Opportunities and challenges
Adrian Jjuuko


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