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ARASA, Amnesty International and the UNDP hosted an African regional consultation, to critically reflect on the appropriate use of criminal law, incarceration and punitive approaches to human rights violations related to sexual orientation and gender identity. ARASA was represented by the Regional Key Populations Officer, He-jin Kim. Key stakeholders discussed how human rights violations, including discrimination, harassment and violence are pervasive for LGBTI people in Africa. While the use of the criminal law in response to violence is largely uncontested, there is less clarity when the use of punitive law is appropriate in response to other harms, such as prejudice and intolerance. The participants discussed whether such actions and behaviour should be be criminalised, whether these issues should be addressed through the criminal justice system or whether there were other avenues for transformative justice that are more appropriate or useful. They also talked about how local contexts in Southern and East Africa influence how conversations about these issues were held. Participants concluded that African nation states have an obligation to address harmful stereotypes and prejudice. Furthermore, state actors should be implementing multifaceted and holistic responses to address harmful stereotypes, prejudice, and stigmatised societal values. This meeting sought to have these hard but important conversations with LGBTI activists in the region as a starting point to critically look at how we approach our relationship with the criminal justice system in our advocacy.Read more about what we've been up to in 2022, here: ... See MoreSee Less
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