Okoye, Nnamdi Chukwunweike

Masterarbeit, Fachbereich Social Work as a Human Rights Profession, 63 Seiten, engl.


Nigerian Legal system in January 2014 officially criminalized the act of being gay with consequent punishment of 14 years imprisonment. The vulnerable LGBT community were disadvantaged in various ways and had huge obstacles to integrate socially in the wider Nigerian community. One of these challenges is their approach to seek and maintain a god sexual health system. While we are aware that all populations have different health challenges, the LGBT community is faced with higher risk of health issues which mostly are discussed as a result of their sexual lifestyle. In a situation where it is difficult to have freedom to live in line with ones identified sexuality, it can result to challenges to have a quality healthcare to maintain such sexuality. Before the advent of the Anti-Same Sex Law in Nigeria, the socio-cultural, religious and traditional system support and perceive the LGBT community and their associates as social misnomers and spiritually possessed by certain evil spirits, as such their sexuality should not be encouraged. The result of the wrong social perceptions towards the LGBT community members were exclusion of identified individuals in different social systems ranging from family, occupation or career, friendly circles, religious associations and also health systems. Despite the affirmative position of Human Rights laws that Health is the Right of every individual, most of the health centers and healthcare facilities continued to violate these rights by secluding and consciously or unconsciously mismanaging the confidential information in their possession relating to their services to the LGBT community. My thesis will focus on the LGBT community in Nigeria and the challenges or obstacles that hinder their ability to seek, receive, manage and sustain their sexual health. Various identified reasons for this obstacles faced by the LGBT community can be traced to the Anti-Same Sex law that was passed in Nigeria in 2004 as well as deep rooted internalized stigma arising from culture, traditions and religious doctrines and their impact will be extensively discussed. Many scholars and authors as well as social change agents and Human Rights activists in this specialization argue that a change in the legal framework that limits social inclusion of LGBT as well socio-cultural and religious dogmatic beliefs which individuals hold tenaciously will reduce the challenges being faced by members of this community in their efforts to seek and secure healthcare services and numerous concerns and efforts towards mitigation of these challenges have been built around this issue in Nigeria and more in diaspora because of the limiting legal structure, however due to the sensitivity of the topic, not much in-depth research has been done in relation to the healthcare problems being faced by the community.  The paper will therefore strive to use the existing literature available on this subject while building on the more elaborate and practical step which is also to use data from relevant institutions, and various members of the LGBT community in Nigeria to obtain firsthand information of their health seeking experience.