On 2 August 2017, the Centre for Human Rights signed a technical cooperation agreement with African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR), establishing a framework for concrete collaboration on a number of activities. AMSHeR is a Pan-African coalition of organisations focusing on men who have sex with men (MSM) and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons (LGBT). AMSHeR works towards the promotion of non-discrimination, particularly based on sexual orientation and gender identity and the advancement of health services for MSM/LGBT persons in Africa. The signing ceremony was attended by AMSHeR’s Executive Director Kene Esom and law and human rights advocacy manager, Berry Didier Nibogora. The Centre was represented by its Director, Professor Frans Viljoen and Assistant Director Norman Taku.
The agreement builds strong research ties between the Centre and AMSHeR, and deepens the understanding of the rights of sexual minorities through training and teaching. The partners also aim to collaborate on advocacy activities at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR). This will include the support of technical experts to work with the African Commission in areas of common interest. Further, the partners will mutually provide technical assistance to policy-makers, states and non-state actors on the alignment of norms, laws and practices with international standards and best practices.
Given the importance of partnerships between academic institutions and NGOs, AMSHeR and the Centre are confident that this partnership will foster the development of LGBTI and gender justice advocates on the African continent. The partners envisage that the collaboration will impact on the promotion and protection of the rights of sexual minorities in Africa. Both the Centre and AMSHeR appreciate this opportunity for collaboration.
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