The Africa Regional Seminar on Ending Violence based on real or perceived Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity [SOGI]


Hi and welcome to the Demand Accountability (South Africa) Campaign!

This toolkit will help you, your organisation and your friends and allies understand WHY we are running this campaign and also importantly HOW you can get involved.

  1. Why Demand Accountability?

    African civil society organisations have demanded that Honourable Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation in South Africa, sets a date for the Regional Seminar on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression in Africa. This follows repeated communication with the Minister on the July 2013 commitment the Government of South Africa made to convene this Seminar at which African States, national human rights institutions [NHRI] and civil society organisations [CSOs] can dialogue on the issue of violence and discriminatory laws and practices targeting individuals based on their real or perceived Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity [SOGI].

    Unfortunately, all attempts to engage the Depart of International Relations and Cooperation [DIRCO] have as yet been unsuccessful. Hence, an Africa-wide social media campaign aptly titled #DemandAccountabilitySA was started to sensitize members of the public and garner their support to pressure the South African government to action.

    The inaction of the South African government on their commitment is not only of concern to the LGBTI community within South African borders, but is equally and perhaps of even greater concern to the broader African LGBTI community, many of whom live in countries whose legal and policy environments are more hostile than those in South Africa. Some of the pertinent reasons why African LGBTI, human rights and HIV/health NGOs and their allies should add their voice to this campaign are as follows:

    A study on violence, discriminatory law and practices based on SOGI commissioned by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights culminated in a Nov 2011 report detailing violence and discrimination in all regions, including in Africa where homophobic laws, policies and practices are prevalent;

    • The Africa Regional meeting which South Africa committed to host will allow African States to consider the report and the recommendations therein, discuss the specific context of SOGI based violence and human rights violations in the Africa region and give the opportunity to suggest how the UN can address this issue, from an African perspective. Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America have all held their respective regional meetings;
    • The African regional meeting is important because it will provide the first opportunity for African States to meet to discuss the issue of SOGI-based violence and human rights violations. There has been a lot of denial of this issue by the political class in Africa. Abandoning the process now sends the message that LGBTI issues are not considered serious enough to warrant SA keeping its word. Other States may also abandon similar commitments and this will perpetuate the culture of impunity regarding the violations of the human rights of LGBT persons;
    • The regional meeting will improve NHRIs understanding of the health and human rights situation of, and violations against LGBTI individuals in their countries, and will provide a platform to share best practices. The failure of NHRIs to support the LGBTI community in addressing human rights violations has been a major hindrance to ending these violations in many countries;
    • As the context and the realities of LGBTI individuals and the human rights violations they face differ from region to region it is important that Africa's voice contributes to the process to systematize the way the UN addresses issues of violence against LGBTI individuals. Failure to do so runs the risk that whatever process put in place by the UN may not adequately address the issues in Africa. Moreover, the participation of African CSOs will provide an opportunity for African States to hear first-hand the experiences of LGBTI individuals and their human rights defenders, and thus debunk the “Homosexuality-is-unAfrican” argument;
    • Empirical evidence indicates that violence, arrest and harassment directed at sexual minorities directly impacts on their access of essential services, including education, employment, justice and healthcare. In the context of HIV response, the Report of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, shows this impact and further strengthens the need to challenge the barriers that undermine our efforts to provide adequate, equitable and affordable healthcare for all.

      This Africa region Seminar CAN change the state of protection of human rights for ALL Africans and end violence and other human rights violations targeting African people based on their real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. Add you voice to the call and demand accountability from the South African government and ensure human rights for all Africans.

  2. How to get involved on Social Media

    The Demand Accountability Campaign is engaging on 4 main media platforms. This toolkit provides ideas on how you can help build solidarity and voices amongst your networks to put the necessary pressure on the South African government to commit to hosting the Regional Seminar on ending violence based on real or perceived Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity [SOGI].

    Please note that this is a guideline and any other ideas that you think might help communicate the urgency of this call for the Regional Seminar are welcome. Every effort counts.

    1. Demand Accountability Petition
      We have set up an online, worldwide accessible petition that you, your organisation and affiliates can sign. This is an extremely important part, because the more people we have signing the petition, the more DIRCO is made aware of the urgency and the call for this important meeting.

      The petition is designed such that, for every signature submitted on the platform, the Minister and Deputy Minister of International Relation and Cooperation receive and email in their inbox alerting them to this action. This is important because it creates a constant and daily awareness that the pressure is still on and will not let up until they host the Regional Seminar.
      1. You can access the petition here
      2. We strongly recommend that you sign the petition as an organisation AS WELL as individuals in the organisation. You can use a pseudonym if you wish, but the platforms requires that you provide a location and an email address to legitimize the signature. You can create a fake email address if you are concerned for your safety and the safety of your organisation.
      3. We are at 324 signatures to date-and would like to make that more than 1000 signatures. Please encourage everyone in your organisation, your allies and partners to gather at least 10 signatures each to boost the numbers of people signing onto the petition.
      4. There is no limit to how many people can sign the petition, who they are or where they are from as long as they understand the necessity of this campaign and agree with its principles-the more signatures we gather-the better.

    2. Ukombozi Kwa Africa on Facebook
      We have titled the campaign Ukombozi Kwa Afrika, which is a Kiswahili word for ‘Liberation of Africa’. Because this is a regional campaign, we saw it fitting to give it a name that reflects the need for the liberation of African bodies.
      1. Please LIKE the Ukombozi Kwa Afrika page here. It will show up as Demand Accountability South Africa.
      2. Share the Profile picture and the Banner picture on the page on your own Social Media page in a show of solidarity. The more pages we have with the same banner and profile pictures the more interest we will generate on social media. We have also attached higher resolutions of the Profile picture and the Banner to this email.
      3. Please like the CAL, AMSHeR and GALA pages as well and tag us in your posts and re-posts to allow us to engage and encourage discussion.
      4. If possible, daily on your Facebook page, post an update that calls for the South African government through DIRCO to host the Regional Seminar. Some sample status updates that you can copy and paste onto your pages are:
        1. "Isn't it time my constitutional rights come to life? #DemandAccountabiitySA" | Join the Demand Accountability South Africa conversation, send us your demand!
        2. "Better access to higher education #DemandAccountabilitySA" | All our struggles are connected, what are you demands?
        3. "Take charge. #DemandAccountabilitySA and create your own future!" | Join the campaign.
        4. "We are all born equal. Respect our human rights! #DemandAccountabilitySA" | The time for silence is over, join the campaign!
        5. "Make the choice to raise your voice #DemandAccountabilitySA" | Make your voice heard, join the campaign!
        6. "What's with the hate? #DemandAccountabilitySA" | Upload your demand, let’s keep the conversation going!
        7. "These gains ain't working. I demand LIBERTY! #DemandAccountabilitySA" | What is your demand? Join the conversation!
        8. "The problem with love is...? #DemandAccountabilitySA" | The time for silence is over, join the campaign!
        9. "What's with the hate? #DemandAccountabilitySA" | Upload your demand, let’s keep the conversation going!
        10. “AFRICA: We mean it! | We won't cease to #DemandAccountabilitySA. Join the campaign.

    3. Ukombozi Kwa Afrika on Twitter
      The Demand Accountability Campaign’s Twitter handle is @UkomboziKwaAfri. Please follow the campaign here. Also follow and tag CAL, AMSHeR and Gabriel Hoosain Khan from GALA [Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action], so that we can re-tweet your tweets and keep the conversation going.
      1. As a show of solidarity, please use the Demand Accountability SA images provided on your twitter account. The more people see the image the more interest it garners and solidarity we can build.
      2. Here are some suggested tweets that you can share on your pages. Please tag us @UkomboziKwaAfri in your tweets and retweets so that we can encourage the conversation to go on
      3. Some sample tweets that you can use are:
        1. "The problem with love is...? #DemandAccountabilitySA" | The time 4silence is over, join the campaign! #HumanRights
        2. "What's with the hate? #DemandAccountabilitySA" | Upload your demand, lets keep the conversation going!
        3. "Take charge. #DemandAccountabilitySA and create your own future!" | Join the campaign, upload a selfie!
        4. "We are all born equal. Respect our human rights! #DemandAccountabilitySA" The time for silence is over! @CALAdvocacy
        5. #DemandAccountabilitySA for development! Time to take a stand & make demands from #Bulawayo in Zim @UkomboziKwaAfri
        6. Many queer women are murdered in SouthAfrica &get no attention like the #OscarTrial.We #DemandAccountability for slain women! @CALAdvocacy
        7. #SouthAfrica = Africa.Your inaction affects us ALL SouthAfrica. #DemandAccountabilitySA @coconutBOY101 @AMSHeRorg @CALAdvocacy
        8. All CSOs demand is a date for the promised meeting.Why the silence from #DIRCO?
        9. Sexual rights are human rights! We want governments out of our bedrooms!
        10. Your human rights are VALID regardless of colour or creed. Claim them - #DemandAccountabilitySA #DemandAccountabilityNIGERIA

    4. Demand Accountability Selfies

      We think taking selfies are a creative and personal way to make a statement. We have been asking friends, family, allies and everyone everywhere to take selfies in a show of solidarity for the Demand Accountability Campaign. You can see samples of selfies on both our Twitter and Facebook pages.

      Please have a look and encourage you whole office to take selfies of solidarity.

      Please contact us with any questions or if you would like to have a conversation about getting involved in this campaign.

      Please help up put pressure on the South African government to SHOW ACCOUNTABILITY and host the Regional Seminar to End Violence based on real or perceived Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

      You can contact:

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