Namibia | Coalition seeks enhanced protection of LGBTI persons

ISHR and Namibia Diverse Women’s Association – a Namibian NGO focused on defending the human rights of LBT persons – have convened online workshops to identify strategies to strengthen the protection of LGBTI and gender diverse persons in the country. These workshops build on a series of national workshops on engaging with UN mechanisms in Liberia in 2019 and Jamaica in 2018.

‘As we develop strategies for engaging with the international human rights system, we considered it essential that we come together as a coalition. For the first time, a coalition of 10 national organisations working on issues of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics have come together to engage in UN advocacy,’ explains Linda Baumann, who previously participated in ISHR’s Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme.

‘While COVID meant we could not all meet in person, we developed a series of online workshops bringing together defenders from across the country that work across these issues,’ explains ISHR’s Tess McEvoy. ‘These new relationships and strengthening coalitions seek to enhance the impact of UN advocacy as well as the movement itself.’

The workshops aimed to increase understanding and enhance engagement with UN human rights mechanisms to support and strengthen existing national advocacy. To date, the coalition has made submissions to the Universal Periodic Review and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. Going forward, the coalition is preparing advocacy tools and strategies for continued engagement with these mechanisms, as Namibia is reviewed by the two bodies this year.

Photo: Namibia Diverse Women’s Association

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