South Africa: Human Rights Watch Releases Report on Violence and Discrimination against LGBT Community
Thursday, December 8, 2011 1:15 PM

Human Rights Watch has released a report on discrimination and violence against lesbians and transgendered men in 6 South African provinces. Complied from over 120 interviews, the findings show that the LGBT community faces prejudice from both private and public spheres, including from government officials. Moreover, the aggressors have “near-total impunity.”

Almost all respondents said they live in fear of sexual assault. Those who report attacks to the police receive no protection. Instead, survivors are usually revictimized by the police; they are mocked, harassed, and ridiculed. In addition to physical violence, members of the LGBT community face discrimination in education, employment, and social services.

South Africa does have laws and policies written to protect citizens from violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation, but the report illustrates that those laws have not been effectively implemented. Furthermore, the few cases of rape which do go to trial almost never cite sexual orientation as a motivating factor for the accused.

Compiled from: A New Report: Human Rights Watch: “We’ll Show You You’re a Woman: Violence and Discrimination Against Black Lesbians and Transgendered Men in South Africa,” AWID: Association for Women’s Rights in Development (07 December 2011); South Africa: LGBT Rights in Name Only?, Human Rights Watch (05 December 2011).