Amsterdam was under the sway of its annual Gay Pride parade in the first week of August.This was also the week when the Hivos ‘Wanted For Love’ campaign reached its finale. From 17 May to 4 August 2013, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Hivos carried out a national campaign in the Netherlands called ‘Wanted for Love’. The campaign, supported by funds from the National Postcode Lottery, drew attention to the plight of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBTs) in Africa.
Four African LGBT activists were invited by Hivos and Human Rights Watch to participate in the final week of the campaign. During Pride Week they were given ample opportunity to explain their simple but powerful message to an audience ranging from (inter)national and local government officials to the general public: LGBT rights are human rights.
On August 2, Human Rights Watch and Hivos organised an inspiring evening on LGBT rights in Africa at the cultural centre De Balie in Amsterdam. The events included the impressive personal stories of three activists, which were performed by Dutch actors, and a debate with the activists and experts from HRW, Hivos and Mama Cash.
On 4 August, in the presence of some 400,000 visitors, the Hivos and Human Rights Watch boat joined the hundreds of others that sailed through the canals of Amsterdam in support of LGBT rights everywhere.
We now look back on a very successful week and campaign, while the four activists bid farewell to the Netherlands and move forward with renewed inspiration, contacts and energy to continue their fight for equal rights and against discrimination, injustice and violence facing LGBTs in Africa.