The ongoing discrimination and criminalisation of LGBTI persons worldwide, evident in prominent cases like those of Russia and Uganda, urged the European Union (EU), which refers to itself as a defender of human rights on the international stage, to take action. As a consequence, the Council of the EU adopted the so-called ‘EU Guidelines to Promote and Protect the Enjoyment of All Human Rights by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Persons’ in 2013. This occasioned the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union and its project partners to organise a week-long encounter with LGBTI activists from Sub-Saharan Africa in Brussels, as Africa remains one of the continents where LGBTI individuals continue to face huge obstacles or even fear for their lives in many countries.
The following project report reflects on the experiences on the ground described by participating activists and surveys the main reasons, according to them, why LGBTI human rights are not yet accepted as self-evident in many African countries. The report also clarifies the scope of the ‘EU Guidelines to Promote and Protect the Enjoyment of All Human Rights by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Persons’ and summarises the recommendations formulated by the African LGBTI activists on how EU institutions could contribute to a more effective implementation of these guidelines.