SAHA is pleased to announce the release of new materials developed to raise awareness about the right to information within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) sector in Africa and to assist members of the LGBTI sector in accessing information under the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA).
As previously reported, over the last 9 months SAHA has been working with organisations in the LGBTI sector to build capacity within the sector to understand and utilise PAIA as a strategic advocacy tool.
The vast majority of LGBTI people are shut off from accessing their rights because of social isolation and cultural exclusion. In many African countries same-sex relationships are illegal, or where legal protections do exist, public attitudes have not kept pace with legislative changes. In many communities across Africa the concept of same-sex conduct as ‘un-African' remains dominant and repressive. This is compounded by the fact that African society is dominated by heterosexist and homo-prejudice sources of information and representation and it remains particularly difficult for the majority of LGBTI people and their allies to find relevant information.
Access to information can be used to inform evidence-based advocacy campaigns to bring about change for LGBTI people and to bridge the gap between theoretical legal positions and the everyday reality for LGBTI persons.
The importance of the right of access to information to the LGBTI sector and SAHA's experiences in the capacity building process with the sector have informed the development of two new resources addressing access to information and the LGBTI sector:
• Accessing Information in the LGBTI Sector - a guide to using the Promotion of Access to Information Act to advance the position of LGBTI persons in South Africa. The guide is designed to assist persons in the LGBTI sector to recognise the important role that access to information can play in the achievement of their advocacy goals. The guide will also help people in the LGBTI sector to make PAIA requests, by providing information on some of the more challenging aspects of using PAIA.
Learn more about the Accessing Information in the LGBTI Sector guide and download a copy of the guide.
• LGBTI and Access to Information in Africa - how access to information can empower LGBTI people in Africa to promote and protect their rights. The guide is designed to raise awareness of the right to information in Africa, providing details of the legal basis of the right and highlighting the link between access to information and issues facing LGBTI people in the region.
Learn more about the LGBTI and Access to Information in Africa guide and download a copy of the guide.
It is hoped that the guides will increase awareness about the right to information within the LGBTI sector and build the capacity of the sector to utilise the right in achieving their advocacy goals and the protection of their human rights.
SAHA thanks the Open Society Foundation for South Africa and Atlantic Philanthropies for their generous support in the development of these guides.