On August 29, Shelter City guest Tino was invited to speak at the Clingendael about his work as a human rights defender in Zambia. He did so for the latest batch of newly recruited Dutch diplomats.

Tino is a human rights defender from Zambia who actively fights for the rights of the LGBTIQ community members and sex workers of his country. During his presentation, Tino explained Zambia’s political context as a Christian nation, which constitutionally abides Christian values and therefore rejects homosexuality, even penalizing it with imprisonment. He discussed how this political and legal situation, in combination with the patriarchal cultural view on gender roles and sexual orientation, has provided for a hostile environment for the LGBTIQ community members and sex workers. Tino shared his personal experiences on growing up in Zambia as a gay man and portrayed the constant discrimination, harassment, and violence that the LGBTIQ community and sex workers have to endure. Tino discussed the results of his research and activism and his hope to give the community more visibility and hopefully legal recognition in the future.

His presentation featured as part of a training session for newly recruited Dutch diplomats, the new international policy offers of the future. Tino’s contribution aimed to provide them with practical insights about human rights issues. Justice and Peace Netherlands is pleased to provide this insight into the essential work done by human rights defenders all over the globe, such as Tino.

The participants of the event empathised with Tino’s mission and situation, realizing fully the great challenges that lay ahead of him and many other human rights defenders in order to achieve legal recognition of human rights in their countries. Tino invited them to create international visibility of the situation in Zambia and to start dialogues about the LGBTIQ community challenges in different countries around the world.

Interested in learning more about Tino’s work? Please click here for Tino’s account on LGBTIQ rights in Zambia and his dream to organize the first Pride parade in Zambia.