Arts & culture

There are numerous sources of information on life as a LGBT(I) person in the different countries where Denmark are engaged in developmental partnerships: Magazines, references to book titles, film clips or references to these. And at we have started to include these in our resources. Read about for example the newest issue of Qzine - African’s only magazine of LGBTI arts and culture. Find them in our extensive database of resources.

Q zine 10

Nigeria's UPR process

Summary of progression from 1st Review to 2nd Review

In order to see if the UN's Universal Periodic Reviews have any effect on rights for LGBT people, we have followed the UPRs for Nigeria. In the adjacent document "Rights for LGBT people: Is there any progress from 1st Review to 2nd Review ?" we have copied relevant texts from the UPR documents. We have reviewed the UPR documents from 2008, when the first review of Nigeria, to 2014, when the second review of Nigeria is to end. The content of these texts is summarized below.

The first review

The first review was carried out in 2008-2009. As you can see adjacent, voices were heard from some NGO's, from the Nigerian State, from official existing UN documents, from questions put from other countries, and finally from the UN Working Group appointed to do this review. All of these focused only on the proposed law to prohibit same-sex marriage and nothing else con­cerning LGBT rights.

The only exception was a general question from the United Kingdom about the status of LGBT rights in Nigeria and acts of violence. To this question, the Nigerian State answered at best naïvely, at worst oppressively:

"Gay-Lesbian relationship[s] or same-sex marriage was not a human rights issue in Nigeria."

The UN Working Group doing this review concluded that the Nigerian President and the Nigeria parliament should not approve the “Same Gender Marriage Bill” and should eliminate all existing legislation that discriminates based on gender and sexual orientation.

That law was, in fact, passed a few months later, in November 2009. It prescribes 3 years imprisonment for the married people and 5 years for a witness to the marriage. See

The second review

About 4 years later, in 2013, the second cycle of human rights review in Nigeria was carried out and will be completed in the first half of 2014. Perhaps predictably, it seems the very existence of the review process is wakening both Nigerian NGO's and the Nigerian State.

At the start of the second review, more NGO's in Nigeria had dared express their discontent (in all 34) than in the first review, 4 years earlier (only 10 in 2009). The new expressions of discontent about LGBT rights are quite concrete and directed towards action in the immediate future.

The Nigerian State, on the other hand, seemed forced by the second review to put words on why it legalizes discrimination against LGBT people. That could, indeed, give us a little ray of hope that those words will make more Nigerians aware of its country systematically violating basic human rights. However, recent lessons from other African countries, for instance Cameroon, are teaching us that increased focus on LGBT rights can sadly provoke the population to increased outrage and violence towards LGBT people. It seems that authorities and the media play a negative role in this propaganda.

As of January 2014, the UN Working Group on the review of Nigeria has not completed its report and drawn its conclusions.

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