Support for LGBTI+ people
Since its inception, the FHR has worked closely with government and the LGBTI+ people to address the high levels of violence and discrimination that occurs in South Africa based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics. From 2013 to 2020, the FHR provided financial and other assistance to the LGBTI+ National Task Team (NTT), Provincial Task Teams (PTTs) and the Rapid Response Team (RRT). FHR continues to support LGBTI+ civil society organizations (CSOs) through discretionary and other grants, as well as being an important and founding member of the NTT.
What are LGBTI+ CSOs and what do they do?
LGBTI+ CSOs are civil society organizations that are primarily focused on the challenges, needs and rights of LGBTI+ people. There are LGBTI+ CSOs in every province and they work closely with LGBTI+ people to combat discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics. FHR supports LGBTI+ CSOs directly, with grants, and indirectly through the NTT, PTTs and RRT.
What are the FHR’s current activities in relation to the LGBTI+ sector ?
Through funding of the NTT, PTTs and RRT, the FHR assisted a large number of productive engagements between LGBTI+ CSOs and government departments. FHR also funds LGBTI+ CSOs on an individual and discretionary basis, to allow them to assist LGBTI+ people to access their rights.
The FHR works closely with the NTT Working Group to update the LGBTI+ National Intervention Strategy. This document informs the way that government and LGBTI+ CSOs work together to strengthen LGBTI+ rights. The National Intervention Strategy (NIS) for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Sector includes a guideline on funding requirements and the need for sensitization and awareness of the rights of LGBTI+ people for government departments.
The FHR works closely with the DoJ&CD and the DBE to educate and sensitize government officials, as well as a number of learners and educators, on the rights of LGBTI+ people, at the national and provincial level.
The FHR is an active and founding member of the NTT and the RRT. The FHR sits on the National Rapid Response Team committee and attends monthly meetings of the DoJ&CD, together with LGBTI+ CSOs where incidents against LGBTI+ people are discussed. The RRT allows LGBTI+ CSOs and government departments (in particular the National Prosecution Authority (NPA), the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the DoJ&CD) to work together to ensure that cases involving LGBTI+ people are monitored and properly investigated. The FHR is also an important part of the NTT and the NTT Working Group. The FHR’s work with the NTT allowed the FHR to submit the NTTs recommendation on the draft Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill with regards to LGBTI+ rights.
How the FHR has been supporting the LGBTI+ rights sector?
The FHR supported the NTT, PTTs and RRT from 2013 until April 2020 financially, providing a valuable space for LGBTI+ CSOs to engage directly with government departments on LGBTI+ issues. Although no longer providing funding, the FHR continues to work closely with the DoJ&CD and LGBTI+ CSOs through this structure to advance and protect the rights of LGBTI+ people.
Although FHR’s direct funding of the NTT is at an end, the FHR continues to fund LGBTI+ CSOs on a discretionary basis for human rights related work for the LGBTI+ community. The FHR also continues to advocate for LGBTI+ rights in its work with government departments, including the DoJ&CD and the Department of Basic Education. The rights of LGBTI+ people have been included in our new Programme, and the FHR is committed to continue working on these issues (funding permitted).
“My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you.”
“It is absolutely imperative that every human being’s freedom and human rights are respected, all over the world."
Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Iceland's first female Prime Minister and the world's first openly LGBT head of government