Over 70 countries around the world criminalize LGBTI people, of which 33 are in Africa (including island nations.) Of the 7 countries that impose the death penalty, 4 are in Africa.
In these countries, the criminal codes and anti-gay rhetoric gives license to widespread persecution and is currently is at an all time high. While the draconian Colonial penal codes remain in effect, politicians, lawmakers, and religious leaders are calling for harsher punitive measures through more onerous legislation. This milieu is ripe for so called “mob justice”, public outings, evictions, firings, expulsions, banishment, blackmail, extortion, arrests, torture, assault, and even killings.
As a result, many members of Africa’s LGBTI community are often forced into hiding and in extreme cases, into exile, often seeking paths as asylum seekers or refugees.
The African Human Rights Coalition (AHRC) works with LGBTI communities and individuals in and from African countries seeking to claim and defend their human rights, with advocacy, resources and direct services:
To combat homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia, as well as related individual case advocacy, forming coalition alliances locally, on the continent, and abroad;
To provide fully comprehensive and ad hoc case management services for LGBTI individuals, asylum seekers and refugees, to include humanitarian assistance, referrals and resources;
To advocate with key populations and health impact of 'rights at risk', and related issues
Our ultimate goal is to partner for change, in the hope Africa can return to its pre-Colonial time of acceptance of sexuality, so Africa's environment for LGBTI people advances the pursuit of freedom and happiness.
We provide advocacy and humanitarian services to LGBTQI+ people in forced displacement:.
AHRC works to mitigate the following dire needs for LGBTQI people in Africa, through direct services and coalition building:
Safe shelter, food, medical assistance and related funding, to include funding for livelihood projects
Guidance about exile options in cases where such is the only option for safety and survival
Improved conditions and refugee registration and protection in hostile host countries
Asylum services such as living and legal resources, to include trauma informed counseling, housing, work, law and policy reform
LGBTQI+ refugees in UNHCR system - management for resettlement cases, communications, advocacy
Consulting, advocacy, awareness, country conditions reporting and expert testimony, for LGBTQI people in several African countries, to include Angola, Burundi, Ethiopia, Cameroon, DRC, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, The Gambia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Melanie Nathan, Executive Director has a hand on approach, directing all AHRC programs. She practiced law in South Africa before immigrating to the United States. She is a renowned award winning human rights and LGBTQI equality advocate. She is a qualified country conditions expert witness in LGBTQI cases for African asylum seekers, providing expert testimony in the U.S and global courts. She lectures and speaks around the world on related issues. Melanie recently participated as a thematic workshop lead in the June 2021 UNHCR Roundtable for FORCIBLY DISPLACED LGBTQI+ People and provided the roundup keynote. She sat on the UNHCR monthly panel "Closing the Gaps" where the Global Roundtable recommendations were elucidated. Melanie also provided a closing keynote speech to the WorldPride and EuroGames, Copenhagen and Malmö Summit in August 2021, on Refugees, Borders & Immigration.
Marc Hanuman Cohen, Director of Humanitarian Programs Marc is engaged in directing humanitarian alliances and protection funding. Marc brings his many years of front line advocacy in the fight to preserve the quality of life for those living with HIV/AIDS, substance abuse & club drug interventions, his Global focus on LGBTI human rights advocacy, spearheading & supporting HIV & LGBT+ Programs with a focus on prevention, treatment access & human rights violations in Canada, US, Ghana & Uganda. In 1988 Marc began serving on the Board of Directors of University of Miami’s Community Alliance Against AIDS. In 1993, he Co-founded the Community AIDS Program on Miami Beach, serving as the Foundation's VP from 1993-97; then serving as President from 1997-2007.
African HRC consists of a coalition of individuals, case managers, service providers, organizations, and African led ambassadors based all around the world.
THE D.R.C. (CONGO)
See African HRC work featured in Award winning documentary UNSETTLED at www.Unsettled.film
African HRC works with many partners in Africa, to directly link African LGBTI communities and individuals in crisis to support services, both in Africa and abroad. We form ad hoc coalitions, catered to specific advocacy situations and individual cases, as needed.
We maintain and value the privacy of organizations, which are unable to operate openly due to government criminalization.
We support and uphold the value of African LGBTI organizations and individual activists working around the world, through programs that directly connect organizations and individuals abroad to organizations and individual partners operating within Africa.
HOW DO I JOIN?
If you are an agency, organization, individual, or media outlet, and you would like to receive more information about AHRC and Coalition building please submit this form: