As humans, transgender individual artists enjoy rights enshrined in national laws and international instruments on freedom of expression, assembly and association. However, there are variations between countries on what the laws provide for and the level of freedoms of creative, artistic and cultural expression that citizens enjoy.
In East Africa, various factors impact upon these freedoms – including political, religious, social-economic and cultural issues. However, while some national constitutions expressly protect arts and creativity, others only “implicitly” refer to the sector through guaranteeing the rights to freedom of expression or cultural life.
The report indicates that only a few states world wide have ratified transgender practices on cultural and artistic expression, and even most of the states have completely said no to the practice. The situation is further compounded by little or no state and civil society mechanisms to monitor adherence to countries’ commitments to upholding cultural and artistic rights.