Angola promotes protection of minorities

Luanda – Angolan government will continue to promote the protection of minorities, whether in sexual, ethnic or linguistic, said the State Secretary for Human Rights and Citizenship.

Ana Celeste Januário made the pledge on Thursday (24), stating that the country has introduced in its legal system the criminality of discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender or social condition.

Addressing an opening ceremony of the Regional Forum of magistrates from the Portuguese-Speaking African Countries (PALOP), on non-discrimination and inclusion of vulnerable groups, the official acknowledged existing several challenges in Angolan legislation as well as the strengthening of the technical and institutional capacity for its effective implementation.

She said that the situations of stigma, discrimination and violence continue to occur due to sexual orientation of many citizens.

She said she was aware that in many countries, there are challenges in applying protective laws, with a view to promoting non-discrimination and ensuring the inclusion of marginalised vulnerable groups.

The official considered the role of judiciary in the PALOP crucial to ensure the application of laws against all types and forms of discrimination as well as to ensure the inclusion of all people.

She spoke of the role of judiciary in protecting the rights, freedoms and fundamental guarantees of citizens, who have suffered discrimination because of their sexual orientation, political and ideological options that often lead to be marginalised from societies.

In turn, the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Mamisoa Rangers said data shows that 60 per cent of countries in East, West, Southern and Central Africa have laws that criminalise same-sex relation.

She said that for this group of society, violence, degrading treatment, exclusion and discrimination is a daily reality, impacting on their ability to participate in society on an equal basis and access the services they need.

The two-day event is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, the National Institute of Judicial Studies (INEJ) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Source: Angola Press News Agency