The Shrinking Space for Civil Society in Burundi
In April 2009, Burundi has codified homophobia, institutionalising stigma and discrimination against the LGBT community. Violation of the Article 567, which penalizes consensual same-sex sexual relations, can lead to a sentence of two years in prison.
In April 2015, Burundi has plunged into a spiral of political violence and gross human rights abuses, after President Pierre Nkurunziza announced his controversial third term. The ruling party has banned the most prominent human rights organisations and has repeatedly threatened most leading civil society until forced to exile, including LGBT human rights defenders.
In this lecture, Irwin Iradukunda will share through personal stories and experiences what it is like to be an LGBT activist in Burundi.
Irwin Iradukunda is an LGBT activist with a vast amount of international experience. He fights for social change and against LGBT discrimination in African communities through advocacy and research. He is the director of a human rights organisation in Burundi. In 2016, he partook in the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders in Portland, USA. This is a prestigious program focused on selecting those that promote innovation in their organisations, institutions, communities and countries. Iradukunda has also worked closely with COC Netherlands, an organisation that has been advocating the rights of LGBT’s since 1946. In 2016 he was awarded the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.