Network of African National Human Rights Institutions

Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Expression and Sexual Characteristics

This project aims at strengthening the capacity of African NHRIs to effectively engage on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) issues as well as the affected communities


The NANHRI SOGIE Project was born in 2016 following the adoption of 275 Resolution by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in 2014 on Protection against Violence and other Human Rights Violations against Persons on the basis of their real or imputed Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity.

 The SOGIE project seeks to strengthen the capacity of African National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) on the scope and severity of human rights violation experienced by LGBTI/GNC communities based on their real of imputed sexual orientation and/or gender identity and expression across Africa. This is to enable the NHRIs to develop internal knowledge and skills in working with the SOGIE communities to access to human rights protection.

Since inception, the NHRIs of Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Malawi and South Africa, have been capacitated in various thematic and contextual areas to respond, and address human rights violations and engage with the SOGIE community as well as civil society organisations. After the successful completion of this phase, a new phase was rolled out in April 2021 and it runs to April 2023 and it targets NHRIs and CSOs from, Liberia, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo and Namibia.


The SOGIE community in Africa continues to face a myriad of challenges varying from the criminalisation of adult same-sex relations, death penalties in some States, cases of forced anal examinations, arbitrary arrests, violence, stigma and discrimination perpetrated by State and non-state actors. As a result of these complexities, the SOGIE community does not enjoy the same rights as enshrined in most constitutions, regional and international treaties. By capacitating NHRIs in Africa to protect the rights of this community and practice the non-discrimination principles, there is an avenue for improved standard of living of the community on the continent.

NANHRI, therefore, endeavours to ensure that the NHRIs tackle all human rights violations without discrimination as enshrined within Article 2 and Article 3 of the African Charter. In doing so, NANHRI engages with NHRIs and CSOs from the targeted States in undertaking an online training for staff from NHRIs, various in-country trainings and regional workshops around thematic areas that incorporate the current and contextual challenges as analysed by the Secretariat with the help of the SOGIE Reference Groups (Representatives of SOGIE communities). 


The SOGIE project envisions that the NHRIs across Africa shall progressively have:

  • Embedded change within NHRIs through trainings and SOGIE action plan development.
  • Increased strategic collaboration between targeted NHRIs and SOGIE Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in addressing SOGIE-related violence and discrimination; and
  • Increased handling, investigation, and provision of appropriate remedy to SOGIE-related complaints by the newly selected NHRIs