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Media Statement: SAHRC observes International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia

Attention: Editors and Reporters

17 May 2023

The South African Human Rights Commission (the SAHRC/ Commission) joins the rest of the world to observe International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT). This day was created in 2004 to draw worldwide attention to the continued violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex people and all of those with diverse gender identities or expressions.

Under the theme Together Always: United in Diversity, IDAHOT 2023 seeks to highlight the power of solidarity in fighting against the scourge of violence that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex people continue to face across the world. Further recognising that only unity in diversity can bring about meaningful change in protecting the LGBTQIA+ community.

In South Africa, despite the Constitutional provision which protects against unfair discrimination, the LGBTQIA+ community continue to be marginalised. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people continue to bear the brunt of a society that discriminates against them. In some instances, LGBTQIA+ people are discriminated against by their own families. The hate crime wave that continues to ravage LGBTQ+ community in South Africa is brought to the fore by reports of raping and brutal killings of victims simply because they identify differently to societal norms.  

Reports of LGBTQIA+ learners discriminated against their right to access to basic education simply because they do not conform to wearing skirts continue to be reported to the Commission and published in the media.

As an institution created to protect human rights in the country, the Commission continues to raise awareness on the rights of LGBTQIA+ community and, discharge its protection mandate by intervening when such rights are violated.

The Commission calls for greater societal protection and awareness of the rights of LGBTQIA+ community, and calls on government to ensure an inclusive service ethos in the public service to ensure that this community stands on equal footing with the diverse citizenry of the country.

Only through up skilling, respectful engagement, knowledge and tolerance can we begin to have a government workforce and society that gives full expression to the country’s motto: ! Ke e:/Carrara //ke ( Diverse people unite).


Issued by the South African Human Rights Commission.

Wisani Baloyi – Acting Communications Coordinator Tel: 081 016 8308 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Alucia Sekgathume Tel: 082 689 2364 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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