UN calls for Africa to respect gay rights

Many African countries do not recognize or respect gay rights, including Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria, according to BBC.  In fact, in many African countries it is illegal to be “homosexual.”

But UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has called on these nations to confront this discrimination and decriminalize homosexuality.

We are in the 21st century and it is about time Africa caught up- with respect to gay rights.  According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 1, 2 and 3 ensure that no one is discriminated based on sexuality (among other things) and ensures that everyone is born free and equal under the law.

However, making “homosexuality” illegal creates a subclass of citizenship- a class that is not recognized and deemed illegal under the law.

This needs to change. Gay people should enjoy every right under the law and should not be penalized for who they are.

According to the article, the UK and US have warned they would use foreign aid to push for the decriminalization of homosexuality.

Africa has made so many progressive strides over the last 10 years or so; they must not let this deter them from progress in the eyes of the international community.

Instead, they must embrace change and embrace the ideologies set forth in international laws and doctrines.



About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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