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Press Releases

| CENTRE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF PEOPLE

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 PRESS STATEMENT

“JUSTICE AND PROTECTION FOR ALL”

Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP) was established as a human rights organization whose core functions are to address the needs and challenges of minority groups - especially Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) persons through civic education, training, capacity building, networking, and research; and providing support services for the improvement of the welfare of minority groups in Malawi.

CEDEP joins the rest of the world in commemorating The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT), a worldwide celebration of sexual and gender diversity, commemorated annually on 17th May. This year’s theme is focusing on “Justice and protection for all” regardless of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression (SOGIE).

 

Everyone is born free and equal in dignity and rights. However, discriminatory laws, policies and practices affecting the LGBTI people are still in place around the world and in Malawi in particular. Therefore, we must take the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) as an opportunity to raise awareness of human rights issues affecting LGBTI people. It is also a chance to celebrate human diversity.

This 17th May, IDAHOT is focusing on justice and protection for all – both of which are central to driving progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Enacting and enforcing non-discriminatory laws and policies, repealing punitive laws and ensuring access to justice for all are also critical to delivering on the United Nations’ (UN) core commitment to “Leave no one behind”.

It is very pathetic that in Malawi, many young LGBTI people are being rejected by their families, facing all types of discrimination and violence. These problems are hindering development of young people in the country. The young LGBTI people are failing to contribute to the development of the country because they are afraid of stigma and discrimination. This is not the path to healthy and productive societies.

CEDEP is deeply concerned with the continuous arrest of the members of LGBTI despite the moratorium in place. CEDEP calls on all stakeholders for joint efforts towards a world where everyone is able to enjoy protection and live a life free from discrimination in the communities.

Under international human rights law, countries have legal obligations to address discrimination in all sectors such as health, workplace and even in churches and community. Therefore, CEDEP, urges the Malawi government to implement these laws in the country. In particular, CEDEP calls on the Malawi Police Services and all other law enforcement institutions to protect the plight all people, including LGBTI.

CEDEP demands the government and other stakeholders to abide by the international human rights standards by protecting LGBTI people in the country. We call for legal and policy reforms that ensure justice and protection for all LGBTI people. It is high time for Malawi government to remove all the discriminatory laws. As a human rights organization, CEDEP will do everything in its capacity to ensure that there is Justice and Protection for All as its mandate is to provide checks and balances to both state and non-state actors on respecting and protecting rights for all people.

Signed By

 

Gift Trapence

The Executive Director