The underlying argument for this submission is that matters of discrimination

The underlying argument for this submission is that

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The underlying argument for this submission is that matters of discrimination and inequality should not be confined only to legislation that is explicitly concerned with promoting equality and prohibiting discrimination (for example , The Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998 and the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair & Discrimination Act 4 of 2000). Rather, it is crucial that the promotion of equality and the prevention of unfair discrimination is woven and mainstreamed into all relevant legislation. Secondly, the proposed legislation must take into account that harassment occurs within a social context. Thus, the form it takes and the likely victims of harassment will in many cases be influenced by the prevailing prejudices and social inequalities. So for example, one will find that although the Protection from Harassment Act of 1997 in the United Kingdom was created primarily to prosecute stalking cases, in practice it has also been used as “an avenue of redress against racist and homophobic conduct for which it might be difficult to achieve a prosecution under other offences” 1 . It is necessary to foresee this use of harassment legislation and ensure that the access of marginalized groups to this form of legal recourse is not hampered by discrimination and prejudice of police and court officials who are responsible for implementing this legislation. This submission examines the following: 1. The problem of harassment and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity in South Africa. 2. The limitations of existing legal remedies 1 Mason, G. (2005). Being hated: Stranger or familiar? Social & Legal Studies, 14 (4), 585-605. (see p.592) Mason’s paper is based on a study into racial and homophobic harassment reported to the London Metropolitan Police Service in 2001, focusing on incidents recorded as potential breaches of the UK’s Protection from Harassment Act 1997. T RIANGLE P ROJECT : S UBMISSION O N T HE P ROTECTION F ROM H ARASSMENT B ILL , 30 S EPTEMBER 2010 P AGE 2 of 13
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On the basis of these analyses, specific recommendations are made regarding the Protection from Harassment Bill. T HE P ROBLEM OF H ARASSMENT AND V IOLENCE B ASED ON S EXUAL O RIENTATION AND G ENDER I DENTITY IN S OUTH A FRICA Harassment and violence targeting LGBT people has increasingly come to the fore in South Africa. Reports of harassment and violence, in the media and to LGBT organisations suggest that poor black lesbian women, gay men and transgender people who live in townships, in particular, are vulnerable to harassment, violence and it’s effects. While such forms of harassment and violence occur across all communities, poor black LGBT people who live in townships and rural areas are much less likely to have the means and resources to access support, protection, justice and redress through either criminal or civil law remedies. As with women, discrimination, harassment and violence targeting LGBT people results from dominant societal views of masculinity and femininity and the enforcement of heterosexist gender norms and hierarchies.
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