GALZ Statement to mark 2020 Human Rights Day           

Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights”

GALZ  celebrates International Human Rights Day in 2020 under the theme “Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights. ” This year’s  commemorations come at a time where the nation and the world at large are grappling  the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating effects.  This pandemic has caused loss of life and has entrenched systematic intergenerational and gender inequalities, exclusion and discrimination.

GALZ is deeply concerned over the increase in the number of human rights violations that were recorded during the lockdown period targeting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex communities. The violations are premised on the basis or perceived Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression that included disownment by family members, excommunication from religious institutions,  rape , sexual violence and intimate partner violence amongst others. This has led to the denial of fundamental human rights such as the Rights to Religion, Human dignity, Privacy as enshrined in the 2013 Zimbabwean Constitution.

In line with the theme “Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights,”  GALZ applauds the courageous efforts of Human Rights  Defenders and Health Care Providers responding to  COVID-19  and standing up for the protection and attainment of human rights for all during this difficult time. GALZ is responding  to the fight to end this pandemic through raising awareness, provision of Personal Protective Equipment, psycho-social and nutritional support to vulnerable LGBTI communities.

To Recover Better and stand up for Human Rights, GALZ  encourages  all survivors of Human Rights violations to report violations to the State and other Civil society actors who serve survivors of violence. We  call on  the broader Zimbabwean citizenry to opt for  non-violent strategies of conflict resolution.

GALZ  encourages  the State to expedite responses to  Human Rights violations that are recorded during epidemics as  well as strengthen correctional and psycho – social support services. Whilst much is being done in legal and administrative justice, there is need for more mental health services for both survivors and perpetrators to  handle trauma and stressors as well as preventing  recurrence of such in future.

COVID-19 pandemic does not only require medical interventions, but a humanitarian  and human rights centred approaches in addressing inequalities, ending discrimination, encouraging solidarity and participation of citizens and sustainable development in line with Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals.

Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights