New online help for LGBT asylum-seekers in South Africa

Gateway Health Institute, a South African human rights organization, has launched an online platform to help LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and refugees access information on how to navigate life in South Africa.

From the African Human Rights Media Network

Screenshot of the web platform ‘WoZa Life’.

Due to homophobia and harsh laws against homosexuality in most African countries, many LGBTIQ+ Africans flee to settle in more gay-friendly countries to escape persecution. One such country is South Africa.

But, despite the fact that homosexuality is legalized there, South Africa can be dangerous. LGBT people have become the victims of violent attacks, hate crimes, and even murders of people based on their real or perceived sexual orientation. Life in South Africa can be extremely difficult for LGBT people who flee there for safety.

Given the situation, the new platform WoZa Life can be very helpful. For asylum seekers and refugees, both those already settled or who are planning to move there, it provides accurate and relevant information on the asylum process as well as information on how and where to access, legal, health and social support such as:

  • Shelter;
  • Training; and
  • Assistance in securing employment.

The web app (not a mobile app) is completely safe and secure to use, especially for those in countries where homosexuality is criminalized. It includes a safety button which renders the screen blank in the case of an emergency.

Currently, this web app is available in English, but the organization promises a translation feature which will translate it into Swahili, French, Portuguese and Arabic for those who do not have a good command of English, as well as the inclusion of live chat functionality where users would be able to get assistance/advice in real time.

To access WoZa Life, visit:

Source: Rights Africa

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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