STATEMENT ON DECISION OF THE AFRICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS TO GRANT OBSERVER STATUS TO THE COALITION OF AFRICAN LESBIANS
Friday, 25 April 2015
The Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL) congratulates the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (The African Commission) for their decision to grant CAL Observer Status at the Commission today, 25 April 2015. The decision follows the submission of a new application by the Coalition of African Lesbians in August 2014.
The re-submission of the application follows a drawn-out process spanning seven(7) years from the initial application in 2008 and the rejection in October 2010. At the time, the African Commission cited in their letter of decline; “The ACHPR decided, after a vote, not to grant Observer Status to the Coalition for African Lesbians (CAL), South Africa, whose application had been pending before it. The reason being that, the activities of the said Organisation do not promote and protect any of the rights enshrined in the African Charter.” A major Africa wide1 campaign calling for the African Commission to reconsider the decision followed from the October 2010 session of the African Commission to the present.
The granting of observer status to the Coalition of African Lesbians means that the Coalition can now engage at the Commission as a recognised NGO and speak on our own behalf and in our own name. Further, it contributes to the recognition of the rights of women human rights defenders to defend human rights and to the recognition of sexuality and gender. For CAL, this move also signals the critical role of asserting our entitlements, rights and claims and of sustaining resistance to anything and anyone who refuses to recognise our humanity, sexuality and gender. It also lays to rest the argument that organisations like CAL can work to protect but never to promote human rights. This argument has been a contentious issue for the Commission. It opens doors for all other organisations working on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression to request observer status before the African Commission […]
Read the entire statement: CAL Statement on Observer Status