Fifty African LGBT activists are in Sweden to take part in a three-week human rights training programme organised by amongst others, Sweden’s National Association for Sexuality Education the RFSU. The activists are from as far afield as Cameroon, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria and Malawi. The RFSU is co-sponsoring the meeting with the Swedish National Association for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (RFSL), as well as the Swedish International development Cooperation Agency, SIDA.
By the end of the course the activists should be equipped with knowledge and useful tools to work in the field of human rights for the LGBT community. They are also expected to be knowledgeable enough to become successful LGBT and human rights advocates, to plan and implement LGBT projects and to attain access of sustainable networks in the field of human rights with a focus on the LGBT community.
The group of activists has been split in two and each group has 25 people from different backgrounds. Some are LGBTI activists, others are Lawyers, medical personnel, HIV/Aids activists and human rights defenders. The two groups are further split into groups of four focused on the topics: Change that is legal, Awareness raising, Health and Empowerment of LGBT persons.
The entire training will cover topic such as human rights, international law and founding principles, protection of LGBT persons, advocacy theory and strategies, LGBT in religiously influenced societies and sex, sexuality and gender. Sarah Kihikwa, a lawyer from Uganda and also a board member of Transgender, Intersex and Transsexuals of Uganda (TITS) said, “I was inspired to apply for this training by the need to broaden my understanding of LGBT issues in order to advocate effectively for the rights of LGBT persons in Uganda.” She added, “I am a firm believer in advocating for equal rights and equal treatment for all, including LGBT persons.
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