Tanzanian LGBT group seeks facts about harassment

Published: June 19, 2014

Human rights activists in Tanzania are raising money for a survey of LGBT people in Tanzania to measure how much harassment and discrimination they face from police, health-care professionals and businesses.

So far LGBT Voice of Tanzania has  raised $4,181 of its $21,020 goal for the project.

Harassment and discrimination are facts of life for LGBT Tanzanians.

In 2012, the United Kingdom granted refugee status to gay rights activist Edson “‘Eddy” Cosmas of Tanzania after reversing a previous ruling that Tanzania is safe for LGBT people.

Under Tanzanian law, homosexual activity is punishable by imprisonment for 30 years to life.

This is the description of the survey project on the Global Giving fund-raising site:

Summary

There is almost no documentation of the needs of and challenges faced by LGBT people in Tanzania. Using in-person and web-based interviews, we propose to survey at least 800 LGBT individuals-The survey will assess: (1) the existence and impact of discrimination and harassment by Tanzanian law enforcement; (2) the existence and impact of discrimination in public services – including access to health services; and (3) discrimination and harassment in employment.

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?

LGBT human rights activists face official harassment. Likewise, there are reports of LGBT individuals facing harassment from law enforcement officials who use criminal charges as means of obtaining bribes. Societal discrimination and a lack of understanding of LGBT people also leads to diminished access to health services. Same-sex sexual activity has been criminalized. And few organizations specifically advocate for LGBT persons in Tanzania.

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