Accra, Ghana
The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) is an independent non-governmental organisation created to ensure the practical realisation of human rights in the countries of the Commonwealth. We push for an adherence to the Commonwealth's Harare Principles and the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. CHRI was established in 1987 after several Commonwealth countries voiced their concern about a lack of focus on Human rights within the Commonwealth organization. CHRI currently has three offices; in Delhi, London and Accra. The Africa office was opened in Accra in 2001 and is at the forefront of the fight to uphold basic human freedoms in the region. We work in three main areas of human rights: Human Rights Advocacy; Access to justice and The Right to Information.

Wednesday 29 June 2011

LGBT Situation in Lesotho

Whilst Homosexuality is still illegal in Lesotho there has a gradual softening in attitudes. In November 2010 the first gay support group called MATRIX was registered as an official NGO in the county.

A recent UNDP report recognised that such a gay community existed in Lesotho. This study further identified the group as a population at very high risk of HIV infection. There was a self-reported HIV prevalence of 11.6% of the young men sampled who admitted to having sex with other men.

The report  also revealed that the group perceive themselves as having very little access to targeted HIV prevention programs. This study was commissioned as part of UNDP’s HIV & Sexual minorities. For further information click here.

Law that Criminalises Homosexuality

Sodomy is prohibited as a common-law offence. It is defined as “unlawful and intentional sexual
relationship per anum between two human males”[1]

Practical Consequences of the law

Neighbouring SA has legalised homosexuality.

Issues of tourists crossing the border without knowledge of difference in law.
Constitutional Clause on Equality or Right to Privacy

The Constitution of Lesotho (1993)[2]

Fundamental human rights and freedoms are protected under Article 4 and are entitled to every person in Lesotho, whatever his race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status to.  These rights include the right to life; the right to personal liberty; the right to respect for private and family life; freedom of peaceful assembly; freedom of association; freedom from discrimination; and the right to equality before, and the equal protection of, the law.

These freedoms are limited by limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any person does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest.

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