African sexual minorities have been subject of increasing physical and psychological violence. Several African States have discussed and even approved new anti-homosexuality laws that constitute a threat to the LGBTI communities’ fundamental rights. All this new anti-gay legislation are based in countries where the Penal Code preview the criminalization of the same-sex sexual acts between consenting adults already, the so called sodomy laws. The reaction of the African Union to this increasing legal violence is incipient, handicapped by the African leaders who support this state sponsored homophobia. What are the impacts of those anti-gay legal reforms? How have the LGBTI Communities handled the situation? What strategies and mechanisms these groups have been used to defend their human rights? An approach to the judicial system, to demand the remedies of human rights violations, is one of those strategies. New African emblematic case law shows that the judicial system has remained immune to the general homophobia that sweeps the African societies and, by doing so, it stands as a last defense line for the African LGBTI populations. This panel aims to: identify the multiple dimensions of the legal and policy struggles of the LGBTI activist movements; think about the effectiveness of those strategies on ensuring constitutional rights of African LGBTI people; and think about what measures African Union’s mechanisms may adopt to improve the protection on this minorities.
Rui André Lima Gonçalves da Silva Garrido . CEI-IUL . Rui_Andre_Garrido@iscte.pt