Photo: UN WebTV

Cabo Verde

Calling for a safe environment for women and LGBTIQ+ defenders in Cape Verde

At the 55th session of the Human Rights Council, during the adoption of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report of Cape Verde, ISHR and  the Cape Verde Network of Human Rights Defenders (RECADDH) delivered a statement calling on Cape Verde to promote the work of defenders and journalists and provide them with a safe environment.

During this 4th cycle of the UPR, Cape Verde accepted 115 recommendations. During its presentation, the delegation of Cape Verde reiterated its commitment to freedom as a fundamental value and practice and that political convictions, beliefs, religions, and sexual orientations of all people are respected. In that sense, the delegation shared its plan to adopt a law to combat discrimination against minorities which will encompass the LGBTI community and persons living with disabilities and noted the existing domestic legal framework promoting women’s rights and gender equality. Further, the delegation mentioned that the government has met its obligations on periodic reporting and is gradually making up the backlog particularly to the African Commission.

In a joint statement, ISHR and the Cape Verde Network of Human Rights Defenders (RECADDH) highlighted the discrimination faced by women defenders working on issues pertaining to gender-based violence due to patriarchal tendencies, stigma and inequalities faced by women. Furthermore, defenders working on LGBTIQ+ issues fear reprisals and journalists often self-censor for fear of repercussions. 

Ahead of the session, in April 2023, ISHR and the Cape Verde Network of Human Rights Defenders (RECADDH) submitted a UPR briefing paper underlining risks and violations faced by human rights defenders in Cape Verde such as online harassment, self-censorship of journalists and the persisting gender inequalities.

Therefore, ISHR and the Cape Verde Network of Human Rights Defenders (RECADDH) called on Cape Verde to: 

  • Carry out awareness-raising campaigns on the positive role played by human rights defenders and publicise Cape Verde’s international commitments to protect them.
  • Support and publicly recognise the rights of LGBTIQ+ people, including the defenders who protect their rights, through the adoption of legislation that explicitly protects and promotes them.
  • Provide the necessary human and financial resources to the National Commission for Human Rights and Citizens (CNDHC) and ensure that its members are appointed by parliament in accordance with the Paris Principles.
  • Systematically consult civil society when developing and implementing human rights strategies and measures in the country.

Related articles

UN adopts resolution on elections and democratic processes that includes persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities

ISHR and Outright International celebrate the adoption by United Nations Third Committee Member States today of a resolution on elections and democratic processes that, for the second time, specifically includes sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited grounds of discrimination in people’s right to participate in public affairs.

Protection mechanism crucial to implementation of law on defenders in Niger

On 15 June 2022, the National Assembly of Niger passed a law on the rights and duties of human rights defenders. This makes Niger the fourth African country to adopt such a law. However, for the law to produce the desired effects, it must be widely known and understood by all stakeholders. The establishment of an independent and inclusive protection mechanism will ensure the full implementation of the law.