Tanzanian LGBT group seeks facts about harassment

LGBT rights supporters in Tanzania. (Photo from Global Giving appeal.)
LGBT rights supporters in Tanzania. (Photo from Global Giving appeal.)

Human rights activists in Tanzania are raising money for a survey of LGBT people in Tanzania to measure how much harassment and discrimination they face from police, health-care professionals and businesses.
So far LGBT Voice of Tanzania has  raised $4,181 of its $21,020 goal for the project.
Harassment and discrimination are facts of life for LGBT Tanzanians.
In 2012, the United Kingdom granted refugee status to gay rights activist Edson “‘Eddy” Cosmas of Tanzania after reversing a previous ruling that Tanzania is safe for LGBT people.
Under Tanzanian law, homosexual activity is punishable by imprisonment for 30 years to life.
This is the description of the survey project on the Global Giving fund-raising site:
There is almost no documentation of the needs of and challenges faced by LGBT people in Tanzania. Using in-person and web-based interviews, we propose to survey at least 800 LGBT individuals-The survey will assess: (1) the existence and impact of discrimination and harassment by Tanzanian law enforcement; (2) the existence and impact of discrimination in public services – including access to health services; and (3) discrimination and harassment in employment.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
LGBT human rights activists face official harassment. Likewise, there are reports of LGBT individuals facing harassment from law enforcement officials who use criminal charges as means of obtaining bribes. Societal discrimination and a lack of understanding of LGBT people also leads to diminished access to health services. Same-sex sexual activity has been criminalized. And few organizations specifically advocate for LGBT persons in Tanzania.
How will this project solve this problem?
The results, situated within human rights and domestic law, may then serve as a tool for policy advocacy, LGBT civil society capacity building and for encouraging support from other human rights organizations.
Potential Long Term Impact
Reduce incidences of Human Rights violation against LGBT individuals in Tanzania


Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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