Rights of LGBT Persons

SALC’s programme on the rights of LGBT persons has the following objectives:

  • To improve jurisprudence on the rights of LGBT persons through incremental litigation focusing on freedom of association and expression for LGBT activists in the region.
  • To create a more nuanced legal strategy for criminal defence in sodomy cases.
  • To assert the role of the State to provide full citizenship and self-determination to all persons irrespective of gender identity and sexual orientation.
  • To assert police accountability in cases of police abuse of transgender persons.

On-going cases:

Zimbabwe: Action for damages for unlawful arrest of transgender person.
Botswana: Two cases challenging State’s refusal to change gender marker of transgender persons.
Malawi: Case challenging sodomy provisions in Penal Code.
Mozambique: Case challenging refusal to register LGBT organisation.
Malawi: Case challenging Director of Public Prosecution’s powers to withdraw private prosecution for hate speech against LGBT.
Malawi: Case challenging the arrest of a transgender person on the charge of soliciting for an immoral purpose.

Precedent cases:

Botswana: Case challenging the refusal to register an LGBT organisation.
Malawi: Case challenging arrest of couple on sodomy charges.
Zambia: Case challenging arrest of couple on sodomy charges.
Zambia: Support activist’s right to freedom of expression.


10 Dec 2018 Anneke Meerkotter
Reflection on the Closing of Civic Spaces in Southern Africa...

From 14 to 16 November 2018, 100 human rights defenders from across Southern Africa met to discuss the closing of civic spaces in the region. The Summit noted points for activism to ensure that human rights defenders are able to…

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06 Dec 2018 Staff Writer
News Release: Botswana High Court sets Hearing Date on Constitutionality of Offe...

A full bench of the Botswana High Court, sitting before the Honourable Judge A.B Tafa, the Honourable Judge M. Leburu and the Honourable Judge J. Dube has ordered that the hearing challenging the constitutionality of sections 164(a), 164(c) and 167…

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30 Nov 2018 Staff Writer
Official registration of key populations organizations opens doors for funding a...

Local community groups working with populations vulnerable to HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa are making inroads into obtaining official recognition by their governments, which is expanding opportunities for increased funding and ensuring a more substantial, and needed, role in national HIV…

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14 Sep 2018 Staff Writer
Statement: Launch of research report on “The alignment of Eswatini’s...

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre released a report on "The Alignment of Eswatini's Domestic law with recommendations of United Nations Human Rights Mechanisms" in Mbabane on the 13th of September 2018. The report was drafted with support from the European…

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17 Jul 2018 Annabel Raw
SALC at the International AIDS Conference 2018...

SALC is attending AIDS 2018. See some highlights of our activities below.

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29 May 2018 Anneke Meerkotter
Media Advisory: Botswana – High Court Hearing: Challenging Criminalisation...

Gaborone, Botswana – On Thursday, 31 May 2018, the Gaborone High Court will hear a case in which the constitutionality of the provisions that criminalise same-sex sexual acts between consenting persons will be challenged. The Applicant seeks an order that…

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