Key populations (also referred to as most-at-risk populations) are people who inject drugs, gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender persons and sex workers. They are disproportionately affected by HIV compared to the general population. We currently focus on MSM/LGBTI and Girls and Young women who are disproportionately affected by HIV, stigma and discrimination and human rights abuses.
African Human Rights Coalition
As founding member of the African Human Rights Coalition in South Africa we offer the following services to LGBTI refugees from African countries:
We seek to educate and create awareness about the issues facing LGBTI Africans, working tirelessly to combat homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia. We deal with state agencies, civil societies, political, religious and traditional leaders from around the world in this mission, utilizing strategic planning, communications, press, traditional media, and social media.
COMPREHENSIVE CASE MANAGEMENT
We provide various aspects of case management for LGBTI people in hiding in Africa, and LGBTI people exiled by criminalizing laws, including asylum seekers and refugees. This is a unique direct service for individuals in distress and need.
We provide advocacy and strategies, as needed, within our case management program, to include assistance for individuals and organizations in their dealings with agencies, government, courts, and tribunals.
We engage in ad hoc humanitarian relief fundraising campaigns for safe-shelter, food, medicine and transport, on an emergency basis. We also provide consulting and logistic supports to other humanitarian campaigns.
We provide resources, referrals, evidence gathering, strategy, agency and organizational support, asylum reports, and refugee advocacy.
We provide referrals to agencies, organizations, services, legal resources, and affirming faith based services.
Fighting Stigma and Discrimination
Radio Diaries " A Walk in my Shoes" on Gay SA Radio
From 1 February 2017, GHI will broadcast a pilot radio show to fight stigma and discrimination against PLWHIV. Using radio diaries of PLWHIV who are victims of stigma and discrimination we will tackle the challenge head on in the LGBTI community in South Africa and neighbouring countries.
The Program will focus on 3 types of stigma and discrimination:
- Internalised stigma
- Intra-Community Stigma and Discrimination within the LGBTI community itself
- Causal racism within the LGBTI community
Promotion of PrEP and HIV self- testing
GHI was at Pretoria Pride on 1 October 2016 to promote the use of PrEP for individuals who are at high risk of contracting HIV and also HIV self-testing kits for those who feel that self-testing is a preferred option.
Campaign against Corrective Rape
Despite a world-renowned Constitution and a legislative overhaul that safeguard the rights of women and the LGBTI people, South Africa is still home to high levels of violence against women and LGBTI, especially black lesbians.
In South Africa 1 in 3 women will be raped during their lifetime. 10 Cases of Corrective Rape are reported in South Africa each week. Most cases of Corrective Rape are against black lesbians. Most cases of corrective rape go unreported due to fear of secondary victimisation. At least 31 lesbian women have been brutally murdered in the last 10 years .
Of every 30 reported cases of corrective rape, only 2 will lead to successful convictions.
Corrective rape is the use of rape against people who do not conform to perceived social norms regarding sexuality and gender roles, with goals of punishing "abnormal" behaviour and reinforcing societal norms. The crime was first identified in South Africa, where it is sometimes supervised by members of the woman's family or local community.
It is important to note that most of these violent murders happen within the context of the townships, where poverty and unemployment used to be the biggest social challenges. The escalating violence against lesbians has, however, been the new point of focus.
The root of the problem is that the system is not victim friendly, starting with the South African Police Service (SAPS) and healthcare workers – a victim’s first point of contact.
LGBTI survivors of assault and rape are typically confronted with humiliation, dismissal and even direct victimisation by the police and healthcare workers. This results in victims not reporting crimes out of fear of secondary victimisation by the police and other players in the criminal justice system.
1. To educate LGBTI individuals, communities, the police service and healthcare workers about their rights and responsibilities.
2. To recruit community members to be trained a specialized community based Human Rights paralegals and to deploy them back to their communities.
3. To equip individuals and community based paralegals with a platform to report threats, rights abuses or rape via sms messages and to map these reports and collect data.
4. To use the mapped reports to identify hotspots of abuse and rape.
5. To put an end to the culture of non-reporting.
6. To obtain legal recourse through our team of pro bono lawyers.
7. To stop secondary victimisation.