23 March 2021 - NW563
Sharif, Ms NK to ask the Minister of Social Development
(1)Whether, with reference to night and Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP) shelters available to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and other sexuality and gender diverse (LGBTQI+) community, she will provide Ms N K Sharif with a list of (a) contact details and (b) physical addresses of night and VEP shelters which are (i) operated and (ii) funded by her department in each province; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) which from the provided list of night and VEP shelters are for the sole use of vulnerable members of the LGBTQI+ community?
1. Based on the list provided previously on night and Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP) shelters, the Department of Social Development (DSD) in response to question (a) and (b) does not have shelters neither any plans to establish exclusive shelters to accommodate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and other sexuality and gender diverse (LGBTQI+) victims of GBV. (i)Therefore there is no LGBTQI+ specific shelter in operation and (ii) nor any funded by the department.
The DSD subscribes to its obligation to provide psychosocial services, social protection, and respect for human dignity as well as promoting rights of all victims of GBV including LGBTQI+ community. Any shelter exclusive to accommodate LGBTQI+ community will therefore perpetuate forms of discrimination, including labelling, stigmatization and stereotyping thus exposing the said community to unnecessary victimisation. Furthermore, the DSD strives to ensure that services that are provided upholds the principle of no discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, culture, ethnicity and disabilities.
2. None, as all shelters on the list that was provided previously can accommodate LGBTQI+ community. The DSD recommends that the admission criteria in all shelters across the country be inclusive and not discriminate against anyone due to a person’s gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, culture, ethnicity or expression of gender identity. There are therefore no shelters that are for the sole use of the vulnerable members of the LGBTQI+ community that have been established by DSD. This approach is also based the principle of building social cohesion amongst diverse groups and minimize risk related to safety and security of an exclusive LGBTQI+ shelter in a community.
National Assembly Written Reply: 563 of 2021
Approved by the Minister of Social Development