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.


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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23 May 2018 Tashwill Esterhuizen
Botswana: Challenging Criminalisation of Same-sex Sexual Relationships...

In September 2016, a gay man, filed an application challenging the constitutionality of sections 164(a), 164(c) and 165 of the Botswana Penal Code. These provisions criminalise same-sex sexual acts between consenting persons. The man seeks an order that the continued…

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18 May 2018 Anneke Meerkotter
Research Report: The impact of laws criminalising same-sex relationships in Bots...

In commemoration of International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (17 May), Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO), the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), the UNDP and Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa is launching a booklet entitled: "The law…

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28 Feb 2018 Staff Writer
Protection Frameworks for Refugees and Migrants in Southern Africa...

States guarantee basic human rights and ensure physical security for their citizens. However, when people become refugees these protections disappear. Refugees fleeing war or persecution become incredibly vulnerable. They lose the protection of their own state and often it is…

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