Rainbow Identity Association (RIA) a local intersex and transsexual persons’ underground organisation boycotted the World Human Rights Day last week because Botswana government will not register them. Intersex is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. A transsexual on the other hand is a person who emotionally and psychologically feels that they belong to the opposite sex.
RIA Director Skiper Mogapi said they also decided against celebrating the World Human Rights Day because transsexual and intersexual persons in Botswana are being stigmatized as homosexuals. He said the rights of Intersexual and transsexual persons are being violated everyday in Botswana.
“It is disheartening that the government even refuses to recognize and register our organisation. We have chosen not to participate because that will give an impression that we are happy with the government’s tendency to trample on our rights, “said Mogapi. He argues that transsexuals and intersex should be allowed to choose who they want to be because it is their right to identify themselves.
The European Union, High Representative Catharine Ashton stated during the Human Rights Day that they have adopted the new EU guidelines on freedom of religion or belief on the enjoyment of human rights by lesbian, gay, bisexuals, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons.
She said that EU remains determined to promote the respect for protection of all human rights of
all persons around the world. Ashton also stated that the EU was concerned with the increasing level of intimidation, violence and censorship that the media and human rights defenders face in many countries.