HODSAS: Man for Sexual Health and Rights
HODSAS is an initiative of human rights activists and defenders since 2011. The association is registered with the Ministry of Justice and the Keeper of the Seals (No. JUST_112/DP-SK/CA 5009/2015) as an organisation for the defence of human rights and the promotion of access to health and protection of key populations in the face of the unfavourable environment, advocating for the social acceptance of difference and secularism throughout the territory of the DR Congo
The organisation has 13 founding members and 178 adherent members, working in eastern DR Congo, with a national office in Bukavu and a western branch in Kinshasa. HODSAS has an information, education and communication centre on STIs-HIV/AIDS and safe sex (SSR), as well as a library. The centre also offers advice to drug users, immigrants and victims of violence related to their sexual orientation, and refers them to the solidarity committees for permanent support in eastern DR Congo.
Target groups :
- young people in a context of high vulnerability because of their gender identity and sexual orientation;
- key populations (immigrants, drug users, PLHIV, LGBTQI+, sex workers, IPs...)
To promote the health and protection of key populations through collective participation and leadership building on gender identity and sexual orientation in DR Congo.
HUMAN RIGHTS FOR ALL
Areas of intervention :
- human rights,
- to initiate interactive communication within the LGBTQIA+ community in DR Congo;
- To promote and advocate for the respect of human rights related to gender identity and sexual orientation, in particular for people living with HIV, drug users and immigrants in DR Congo;
- promote access to sexual and reproductive health, STI, HIV and TB care and treatment in a hostile legal environment.
HODSAS action strategy:
- Strengthen, organize and retain key stakeholders for the promotion of health and protection rights;
- to set up solidarity committees as information and cohesion structures to face the challenges of the populations concerned;
- Establish an appropriate advocacy plan for the improvement of legislation to promote health rights and protection related to the gender identity and sexual orientation.
Structuring of HODSAS RD Congo:
- constituent and decision-making general assembly;
- Board of Directors composed of 5 persons;
- Executive management with a staff of 3 permanent staff, 4 part-time staff and 6 solidarity committee leaders.
Means of organisation :
- (e.g. human resources: MSM, peer educators, nurses trained in STI management, HIV counsellors, facilitators, administrative staff, leaders);
- Material resources: HODSAS has a voluntary testing centre and a clinic for the treatment of sexually transmitted infections, which is equipped with the necessary equipment;
- Financial resources: membership fees and requests for occasional grants.
- Sustaining activities at the HIV testing centre; care and treatment at the clinic for sexually transmitted infections;
- access to care and treatment for MSM and transgender people living with HIV;
- human rights for all.
Past and present projects:
- Popularisation of the new law protecting the rights of PLHIV and IPs in DR Congo, financial support from Robert CARR FUNDS (HIV Justice Global Consortium), March-December 2019;
- Advocacy for the promotion of fair justice for 18 victims of sexual orientation-related violence in the city of Kinshasa, 2019 ;
- asserting the right to communication of LGBTQIA+ people who are victims of discrimination and stigmatisation in the post-conflict context in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Support from PLANETE ROMEO FOUNDATION since January 2016;
- Awareness-raising to promote the rights of targeted populations through advocacy for access to care and treatment. We Can DR Congo" initiative with support from Oxfam, 2015. Programme completed in 2015;
- Awareness-raising programme for sexual minorities on access to HIV testing, care and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, accompanying project with support from amfAR, 2014.
In a post-conflict context and in the absence of laws protecting sexual minorities, Congolese legislation does not facilitate the promotion of human rights related to sexual orientation and gender identity for an effective fight against HIV/AIDS and the promotion of protection for ALL. For this reason, HODSAS has developed strategies that focus on promoting leadership by and for the affected populations to address this situation.
In the absence of a national policy for the protection and inclusion of affected populations in the implementation of strategic plans for the prevention of HIV/AIDS and the protection of ALL, there is an increased need to develop with all stakeholders a common strategy for the promotion of human rights.