This week read about England loosening restrictions on gay men giving blood, and an African court urging a repeal of vagrancy laws.

 African Human Rights Court Urges Repeal of Vagrancy Laws

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights delivered an advisory opinion encouraging repeal or amendment of vagrancy laws, according to a press release on Dec. 4.

Sex workers and LGB people in Uganda are frequently targeted under vagrancy laws, RightsAfrica reported. Few receive convictions, but arrested youth work on farms while awaiting trial.

The Pan African Lawyers Union requested the advisory opinion in 2018, RightsAfrica reported.

According to court documents, the PALU argued that vagrancy laws are “overly broad.”

Vagrancy laws criminalize the individual, enable “the discriminatory treatment of the underprivileged and marginalized” and deprive people of their equality, which is against the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, according to the documents.

Arrests for vagrancy without a warrant also target individuals based on economic status, according to the release.



England Loosens Restrictions on Gay Men Giving Blood


Photo via Pixabay.

England’s National Health Service announced gay and bisexual men who have had the same partner for three months or more will be able to give blood next year, according to a statement from NHS Blood and Transplant website on Dec. 14.

Gay and bisexual men are currently required to abstain from sex for at least three months before donating, the Guardian reported.

Starting in the summer of 2021, donor eligibility will be based on the individual, instead of gender or sexuality, according to the statement.

The Assessment of Individualized Risk steering group recommended the changes, according to the statement. The group, led by NHSBT, is a collaboration of UK Blood Services, Public Health England, University of Nottingham and LGBT charities.

In 2011, gay and bisexual men had to abstain from sex for one year before donating, the Guardian reported. The time shortened to three months in 2017.

Before 2011, gay and bisexual men could not donate, the Guardian reported.