Article: Can Aid Donors Help Support LGBT Rights in Developing Countries?

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International Health Policies
International health policies (IHP) blog is an initiative of the ‘Health Policy unit’ at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium (ITM), and fits in the wider project of “Strategic Network on International Health Policies.” It is in line with the ITM objective of “Switching the Poles,” aiming to increase the influence of the Global South on the global health debate.

Rachel Hammonds reflects on Monday’s half-day event at ODI exploring whether international aid can play a role in defending lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights in developing countries. The 7 July Overseas Development Institute (ODI) conference addressing this issue was a lively, thought provoking event. The excellent chairing by the witty Simon Fanshawe (Kaleidoscope Trust) ensured that the packed panels (7 minutes per speaker!) progressed more smoothly than my fraught Channel crossing Eurostar ordeal involving over eight hours of delays. LGBT Discrimination – a Trojan Horse? Jessica Horn (African based women’s rights consultant) argued persuasively that the choice to discriminate is a political one and that LGBT-phobia is a Trojan Horse through which African leaders can distract voters and restrict debate on other power related issues.  Several panellists suggested that Western grandstanding helps further polarize the issue and is counterproductive.  There was much agreement that it is time for Westerners to get off the moral high horse and quietly fund the priorities of grass roots activists and engage with global and regional mechanisms like the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights.

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Article: Can Aid Donors Help Support LGBT Rights in Developing Countries?