As Executive Director for African Human Rights Coalition, and as a follow up to the articles that have appeared on this BLOG reporting on the complex and disturbing situation involving LGBTQI refugees in Kenya, and more specifically Kakuma Camp, African HRC has issued 2 advisories on its website. Here is a snippet plus links to full advisories:
JANUARY 17, 2020 Advisory HERE:
AFRICAN HRC is comprised of ALL volunteers who are LGBTQI. We are a committed and trusted resource working for the betterment of LGBTQI communities, realizing that in the world of migrants and refugees options are very few, process is very slow, people are extremely vulnerable, often being taken advantage of, even by our own community. This is not to invoke mistrust, but rather to inform you that we are aware of frauds and instigators who cause harm to your situation and for that reason you are advised to FULLY and independently consider what is best for your own personal circumstances.
We advise refugees and asylum seekers and all P.O.C. to fully co-operate and comply with the directives being given by the UNHCR Reception Center Staff at Kakuma Camp and Gate regarding integration into the Kakuma community. READ MORE HERE:
JANUARY 09, 2020 Advisory, HERE
A. To: People of Concern (P.O.C.)/ Refugees at Kakuma Reception Center Gate HERE
B. To All LGBTI People of Concern (P.O.C.), Activists, and Leadership re Kenya HERE
C. GENERAL WARNINGS TO ALL:
17. WARNING: Hundreds of armchair activist on social media writing to UNHCR each and every time per case of POC does not help the situation – it makes it slower and worse. This often causes confusion and takes away from the time UNHCR could be using to work on cases and help with resources. Also some of those (Western) activists are rude and alienating and that does not help refugees or help in advocacy. African culture tends to be polite. Westerners stepping on the toes of that politeness can result in backlash to the refugee.
Leadership should not see assaults and security breach incidents as money making opportunity for all, which seems to be the case in some circles. THIS WILL END UP HURTING ALL LEGITIMATE SITUATIONS.
18. WARNING: ACTIVISTS and LGBTI POC LEADERSHIP – are asked to STOP providing personal information – Names, numbers and medical info and status of refugee – online, on social media, in groups or in emails – to a wide net of ACTIVISTS, ORGS, PRESS and UNKNOWN people. This is a danger to the refugee and gets spread around unsolicited. THIS IS NOT OK!!! These names, private information and medical pictures such as XRAYS and medical documents being out in the public domain are a breach of the individuals privacy, even if you think you have permission. from the refugee. SO REFRAIN whether you have permission or not. It does nothing at all to help and does not make a situation any better.
IN FACT these emails and social media posts have been used as HIT LISTS – and you are contributing to that. HERE
We have urged people to note that advocacy and activism about countries where over 80% of the populace are anti-LGBTQI is very different to advocacy and activism in a country where LGBTQI people are no longer criminalized and have a measure of equality, lest we forget cultural aspects and the harm and backlash that can be caused through lack of understanding of complex nuances.
Melanie Nathan: My E-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow me on Twitter – @MelanieNathan1
Check out my Instagram: Commissionermelnathan
Refugee / Asylum Advocacy: www.africanHRC.org