Human rights defender
Lorenzo’s work focusses on advocating for the rights of the LGBTI community and documenting violations against members of that community. He has also worked to defend the rights and freedoms of the most vulnerable groups in his society, including the homeless, those with substance abuse problems, people living with HIV/AIDS and those affected by mental illness. Due to his work to defend the rights of the LGBTI community, Akeem has been the victim of continuous threats, harassment and intimidation.
Human rights situation in the country (if needed in this specific field) region)
Jamaica is one of the most homophobic places on earth. Anyone who admits in public that he or she is gay or accepts and maintains relations with a gay person, is treated as a criminal. No measures exist to protect LGBTI people in Jamaica.
It is not easy for LGBTI individuals to live freely and without feeling threatened in Jamaican society. Often such individuals face persecution, threats, hate crimes and severe social stigma. Young people, whose sexual orientation is often seen as deviant, are at particular risk of being made homeless by their families due to pressure placed on their family by the local community.
More information about the candidate’s work and situation
Akeem has worked with a network of national and international organisations to garner support for LGBTI rights and to create safe spaces for LGBTI individuals to ‘’express their identity, individuality and celebrate their uniqueness”.
His recognisable profile as a human rights defender in Jamaica forced him to flee from three different communities as he faced threats upon his life. He was not able to report threats to the police, as many of the police officers are angered by the work that he carries out.
“Gays should be burned, mutilated. They don’t deserve to live. They must be shot and destroyed. (Jamaican Dancehall artist Sizzla)”