URGENT ACTION! Sign-on letter for African organizations and individuals regarding Joint SOGI Statement at the UN

Published: March 15, 2011

URGENT CALL TO ACTION
(from IGLHRC)

  • WHAT: SIGN-ON LETTER TARGETING THE GOVERNMENT OF SOUTH AFRICA

  • WHO: AFRICAN ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS

  • WHY: URGE SOUTH AFRICA TO ENDORSE THE UN JOINT STATEMENT ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION & GENDER IDENTITY

  •  WHEN: DEADLINE FOR SIGNATURES THIS WEDNESDAY @ 8 AM

The Lesbian and Gay Equality Project (South Africa) and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission are circulating an urgent sign-on letter (attached & below) to African organizations and individuals. 

WHY

In solidarity with many others within South Africa and internationally, we’re mobilizing to pressure South Africa to endorse the "UN Joint Statement on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity" (attached).  The statement urges states and other stakeholders to "take steps to end acts of violence, criminal sanctions and related human rights violations committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity." It will be presented at the Human Rights Council next Monday, March 21st.

Currently, no African government has endorsed the statement.  South Africa’s position remains unclear.  There are allegations that South Africa might go so far as to participate in a counter-statement.  If South Africa endorses the statement, it will provide safe cover for African swing states.  If there are no African endorsements of the Joint Statement, it would be a huge loss to us all. 

The voice of African organizations and individuals outside of South Africa could make a substantial difference.  Outrage by a diverse cross-section African civil society is needed to combat the message by conservative African state leaders who have mobilized against LGBT rights.  Human rights defenders working on HIV/AIDS, racial justice, religious tolerance, women’s rights, health, etc., we need your voices! 

WHAT TO DO

Email your organizational endorsement (preferred) or individual endorsement and the African country you are from to jstern@iglhrc.org by 8 AM Wednesday, March 16.  Then, send this to 3 people you know. 

South Africans: Because we’re trying to elevate the voice of non-South Africans in a statement of regional solidarity, please don’t sign yourself but instead forward this to an organization you know in another country. 

TIME IS SHORT!  ACT NOW!

 

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