The United States Embassy has updated its travel advisory to Level 2, advising travellers to “exercise increased caution” due to emerging threats against LGBTQI+ individuals in Ghana.
The alert issued on November 20, 2023, highlights concerns about crime and violence allegedly directed at members of the LGBTQI+ community in Ghana.
The advisory specifically outlined areas with alleged increased risks, including parts of the Bono East, Bono, Savannah, Northern, North East, and Upper East regions, citing civil unrest.
The embassy warns of violent crimes such as carjacking and street mugging, emphasizing that these incidents often occur at night and in isolated locations.
The Embassy said violent crimes are a concern, and travellers should exercise increased caution, especially in urban areas, crowded markets, and when travelling after dark, where criminal elements may use blockades to restrict movement. Areas near the northern border in the Upper East and Upper West regions are highlighted for heightened caution due to security issues.
The Embassy in its advisory also noted that the U.S. government may have limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Ghana, as local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious crimes.
The Embassy in its advisory addressed alleged challenges faced by LGBTQI+ travellers in Ghana, citing prohibitions in Ghanaian law on “unlawful carnal knowledge” between persons of the same sex. Punishments for such activities can include fines and incarceration.
The advisory highlighted the increase in anti-LGBTQI+ rhetoric and alleged violence in recent years, with reported incidents of targeted assaults, rape, mob attacks, and harassment.
The embassy encouraged travellers to visit its LGBTQI+ Travel Information page and review the Human Rights Report for additional details. It also urged enrolment in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) for emergency alerts and advises a review of the Country Security Report for Ghana. Travellers are recommended to prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations and follow the Department of State on social media for updates.
Northern border in Upper East and Upper West Regions
In a separate section, the advisory highlights the need for increased caution in border areas, particularly the northern border. Due to security concerns over criminal activity in remote areas, travel of U.S. government personnel to the northern and northwestern border is currently limited.