Monthly Archives: November 2009

Glimpses of Hijra Dance Event in Dhaka, 2009

Ashok DEB

On November 12th, Sebastian and Aude arranged a Hijra dance Competition, as a part of their Evergreen Project on Bangladeshi trans community.Some impressions of this event will be included in their documentary that is scheduled to be screened for the French television sometime in 2010.An individual from the audience shot and edited the video and later forwarded it to Sebastian Rist.

First Part:

Second Part:

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Trans Rights Declaration endorsed by ILGA-Europe in Malta

silvan agius of ILGA europe opens the trans rights conference

Ashok DEB-ILGA-Europe and Trangender Europe held a joint conference on the 28th October 2009 , which also included a social programme in the evening with a performance and an opening of an exhibition. At this meet a Declaration was  proposed that was adopted by great majority of the participants of the Trans Rights Conference in Malta on October 28th 2009.  It was endorsed on by ILGA-Europe and will be used as policy documents guiding the future work of both organisations.

Declaration of the Trans Rights Conference ,

28th October 2009, Malta

We, the participants of the European Trans Rights Conference, yearn for a Europe free from all discrimination(1), where all people are valued equally irrespective of their gender identity and gender expression.  We envision a Europe where people of all gender identities and gender expressions are fully respected and can live freely without any violations to their human rights and institutions’ interferences in their private lives, in accordance with the Yogyakarta Principles(2).  We want a Europe where health insurance funded adequate hormonal and surgical medical assistance is available in a non-pathologizing manner to all those trans people(3) who seek it, and where no trans person is required to undergo any compulsory medical treatment (such as sterilization or gender reassignment surgeries) or a mental disorder diagnosis in order to change legal gender and/or name.

Julia Ehrt presents the Proposed Declaration of the Trans Righs Conference that was adopted later

Commissioner for Human Rights’ ‘Gender Identity and Human Rights’ Issue Paper

We unanimously welcome the ‘Gender Identity and Human Rights’ Issue Paper(4) published by the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, in July 2009.  Commissioner Hammarberg’s Issue Paper is a significant step forward in articulating the human rights and equality that national governments should provide to trans people. We endorse all of Commissioner Hammarberg’s twelve recommendations and urge all 47 Council of Europe Member States to implement these recommendations at their national levels, including the implementation of legislation/procedures that allows to change name and gender without compulsory medical treatments, or any form of diagnosis, and including strong anti-discrimination legislation inclusive of gender identity and gender expression.

•We call upon the Commissioner to exercise his influence with the Council of Europe’s Member States to ensure that they tackle any gaps in their legislation and policies with regard to the twelve recommendations in the Issue Paper.

European Institutions
We note the importance of European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950) and European Union gender equality directives and various judgements of the European Court of Human Rights and European Court of Justice, in reducing discrimination against trans people.

We call upon the institutions of the Council of Europe and the European Union to:

• Monitor the implementation of case-law and gender equality legislation vis-à-vis trans people
• Make sure that future gender equality legislation expressly includes gender identity and gender expression
• Outlaws any form of discrimination against all trans people explicitly.
• Clearly include measures addressing trans equality issues within gender mainstreaming measures; funding programmes; and including the multi-dimensional gender identity and gender expression in internal and external policy
• Fund detailed research and data collection on trans equality and human rights issues
• Consult and involve trans equality and rights organisations in European gender equality and human rights policy development

the proposed declaration that was adopted later at the conference

Organisation for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

We note with particular concern the high murder rate and violence against trans people across Europe.  Often the police fails to investigate cases of hate crime and killings of trans people and no adequate prosecution of the perpetrators takes place. In addition trans related hate crimes are hardly documented and monitored.

Additionally, trans people with migration background and trans sex workers are especially vulnerable and face multiple forms of discrimination as well as social exclusion and economic hardship.

• We call on participating States of the OSCE to enact hate crime legislation fully inclusive of trans people.
• We call on participating States of the OSCE to ensure safe detainment and contact with their communities for trans prisoners.
• We call upon the OSCE to monitor and urge for investigation of murders of trans people as hate crimes.

Social Partners: Trade Unions and Employers’ Organisations

We are concerned with the high level of discrimination that many trans people face in access to, and retention of employment.  This frequently leads to poverty and severe negative repercussions on their lives and health.  A disproportionately high number of trans people get fired when their transgender status becomes known to their employers (e.g. when starting a process of gender transition, when being visibly gender-non-conforming, etc.).

• We call upon the social partners to proactively undertake joint initiatives with trans and LGBT organisations to reduce trans discrimination and harassment at the workplace, and to implement workplace policies which uphold trans workers’ dignity.
• We call upon the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and its members to implement the eleven actions and activities that the ETUC outlined in its Executive Committee’s Resolution on LGBT rights of 2008.(5)
• We call upon employers’ organisations to tackle the issue of discrimination against trans people in promoting diversity with their members, and to highlight how current equality legislation applies to trans people.

opening of the serious game exhibition

National equality bodies

We note the importance of national equality bodies in tackling discrimination against trans people through enforcement of gender equality and anti-discrimination legislation at national level.  The Fundamental Rights Agency’s social situation report6 shows that national equality bodies are currently not sufficiently including trans issues in their work. We therefore call upon national equality bodies to:

• Be pro-active in enforcing anti-discrimination legislation to improve trans equality and human rights.
• Monitor the implementation of case-law and gender equality legislation vis-à-vis trans people.
• Include trans people in gender mainstreaming measures
•Produce guidance on trans-rights and equality.
•Support trans people in taking forward cases of discrimination to courts and/or respective entities.
• Make sure that future gender equality legislation expressly includes gender identity and gender expression.
• Research, collect and publish data on trans equality and human rights issues
• Consult and involve trans equality and rights organisations in national gender equality and human rights policy development.
World Health Organisation (WHO)   We observe with great concern that trans identities are still pathologized and considered a mental health condition.  Given its strong implications on the living of trans people in Europe we therefore demand the removal of gender identity disorder from the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
• We call upon the World Health Organisation to safeguarded the human rights of trans people in the current revisions of the ICD 10 and DSM IV.
• We call for an alternative non-pathologizing category in the ICD 11, which establishes quality standards for medical treatments ample to support the gender expression of trans people.  No national or international health institution shall render transgender identities as mental health disorders.  They should nonetheless enable access to hormonal, surgical and or psychological medical assistance to be provided to those trans-people who seek such assistance.

Serious Game Exhibition

Finally, we ask Transgender Europe (TGEU) and the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA-Europe) to continue lobbying for full trans equality and rights on a European level and call upon TGEU, ILGA-Europe and national trans organizations to work together for the implementation of Commissioner Hammarberg’s recommendations throughout Europe.  We call strongly all Member States of the Council of Europe to take active steps safeguard the human rights of all people explicitly including trans people.

1 Discrimination against trans people in Europe has been widely documented in both Homophobia and Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation in the EU Member States: Part I – Legal Analysis (2008) http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/material/pub/comparativestudy/FRA_hdgso_part1_en.pdf and Homophobia and Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the EU Member States: Part II – The Social Situation (2009) http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/attachments/FRA_hdgso_report_Part%202_en.pdf

2 Yogyakarta Principles on the Application of International Human Rights Law in relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (2007) http://www.yogyakartaprinciples.org/

3 Trans people (as used above) includes those people who have a gender identity which is different to the gender assigned at birth and those people who wish to portray their gender identity in a different way to the gender assigned at birth.  It includes those people who feel they have to, or prefer or choose to, whether by clothing, accessories, cosmetics or body modification, present themselves differently to the expectations of the gender role assigned to them at birth. This includes, among many others, transsexual and transgender people, transvestites, cross dressers, no gender, multigender, genderqueer people.

4 Human Rights and Gender Identity Issue Paper (2009) https://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?id=1476365

5 ETUC actions and activities on promoting equal rights, respect and dignity for workers regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity (2008)

Leave a comment

Filed under International - Policies and Declaration, International Trans Issues, Media-International, Official reports and policy declarations

Celebrating the art of dance

First Annual Hijra Dance Competition held

Crossposted from Daily Star http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=114046

On November 12, the first Annual Hijra Dance Competition was held at the Dance and Music Centre, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.

The event had for objective to regroup all Hijras of Dhaka and their friends to celebrate the art of dance in a joyful atmosphere, says a press release. Each dancer had three minutes to perform their routine.

Thirty-three dancers, between the ages of 15 and 45, competed in front of a crowded room of 500 for the top prize. This year’s winners are: Miss Nisha (first), Miss Katha (second) and Miss Bobby (third).

The event was recorded for a documentary film on the Hijras of Dhaka that is set for broadcast on French television in 2010.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bangladesh LGBT events

International Campaign to Promote Human Rights across Muslim Societies

Crossposted from ILGHRC website

http://www.iglhrc.org/cgi-bin/iowa/article/takeaction/partners/997.html

IGLHRC believes that a vital part of our mission is supporting the work of activist organizations and allies by disseminating important information on human rights issues affecting LGBT communities worldwide. To this end we are reposting the following announcement from one of our partners.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways
Email: irazca.geray@wwhr.org
Tel: +90 212 251 00 29

Human rights, including sexual and reproductive rights have been under attack in all Muslim societies. Rising conservatism, fueled by militarism, increasing inequalities, the politicization of religion and Islamophobia have strengthened patriarchal and extremist religious ideologies. For instance, last week a woman in Turkey was asked to get written consent from her rapist in order to have an abortion which is against all existing legal regulations, while a recent bill passed in the Sudan annulled the prohibition of FGM/C and a new legislation in Indonesia’s Aceh now allows for stoning to death as punishment for adultery, while the bodily and sexual rights of Palestinian women continue to be violated in the shadow of the apartheid wall…These examples remind us again that sexuality is not a private issue but a site of political struggle.

On November 9, 2009, a very diverse group of NGOs will stage bold actions in 11 countries to promote human rights. As part of the historic international campaign “One Day One Struggle” organized by the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR), over 20 organizations will hold simultaneous events and public demonstrations on topics like protesting customary practices such as honor killings and FGM/C, overturning discriminatory and life threatening laws like stoning or lashing of women, and calling for LGBT rights, the right to sexuality education and the right to bodily and sexual integrity of all people.

During the Campaign that promises to be a milestone event in the history of the sexual and reproductive rights movement, hundreds will gather in university campuses in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Lebanon and the Sudan, at press conferences in Cyprus, Egypt and Malaysia, in conference and concert halls in Tunisia and Pakistan and on the streets of Turkey and Palestine, to assert that sexual and reproductive rights are universal human rights based on the inherent freedom, dignity and equality of all human beings.

########

CSBR is a globally renowned solidarity network of progressive NGOs and premier academic institutions in the Middle East, North Africa, South and Southeast Asia, working to promote sexual and bodily rights as human rights in Muslim societies. www.wwhr.org/csbr.php

To find out more about the Campaign in:

Bangladesh:
Bandhu Social Welfare Organization, Centre for Gender, Sexuality and HIV/AIDS James P. Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University, Naripokkho, Rongberong: sabina@bracu.ac.bd; dmsiddiqi@yahoo.com
Boys of Bangladesh (BoB): xecon27@yahoo.com

Cyprus:
Feminist Workshop (FEMA): feministatolye@gmail.com

Egypt:
Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), New Woman Foundation (NWF): eipr@eipr.org

Indonesia:
GAYa NUSANTRA: maria.notes@yahoo.com
Puan Amal Hayati Foundation (PUAN): atashabsjah@yahoo.com

Lebanon:
Meem: lynn@meemgroup.org
Helem: ghassan@helem.net

Maylasia:
Women’s Aid Organization (WAO), All Women’s Action Society (AWAM), Sisters in Islam (SIS), Empower: vizlakumaresan@yahoo.co.uk

Pakistan:
Vision: ahsan_anwari@hotmail.com
Organization for the Protection and Propagation of the Rights of Sexual Minorities (OPPRSM): kylapasha@gmail.com

Palestine:
Gender Studies Project at MADA Al-Carmel, Arab Center for Applied Social Research: himmat@mada-research.org
Muntada, The Arab Forum for Sexuality, Education and Health: safa.tamish@gmail.com
Women Against Violence (WAV): aida_touma_slima@hotmail.com; wav_org@hotmail.com

Sudan:
Ahfad University for Women: Amani_elkhatim@yahoo.com

Tunisia:
Association Tunisienne des Femmes Démocrates (ATFD):ahlembelhadj@gmail.com; childpsy_razi@yahoo.fr

TURKEY:
Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways: irazca.geray@wwhr.org

1 Comment

Filed under Bandhu BSWS, Bangladesh LGBT events, Bangladesh persecution of Homosexuals, Boys of Bangladesh, International - Policies and Declaration, Islam and Homosexuality

BoB set to be a part of Global CSBR celebration “One Day Struggle”

common_banner2

Banner which BoB will be using for the campaign.

Forwarded by Xecon and BoB

Edited by Ashok DEB

For the first time ever BoB will be publicly holding a campaign called ‘Jaago, One Day One Struggle’ on November 9. It’s a part of the international campaign involving 13 countries to raise awareness around sexuality and bodily rights initiated by CSBR, a coalition of LGBT organizations in the Muslim societies. The venue of this event is kept undisclosed for  security reasons.

BoB’s message board  announced the event by forwarding this e-mail to its members.

On November 9, 2009, a very diverse group of organizations will stage bold actions in 10 countries to promote human rights.

As part of the historic international campaign “One Day One Struggle” organized by the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR), over 20 organizations will hold simultaneous events and public demonstrations on topics like protesting customary practices such as honor killings and FGM/C, overturning discriminatory and life threatening laws like stoning or lashing of women, and calling for LGBT rights, the right to sexuality education and the right to bodily and sexual integrity of all people.

During the Campaign that promises to be a milestone event in the history of the sexual and reproductive rights movement, hundreds will gather in university campuses in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Lebanon and the Sudan, at public forums in Malaysia, North Cyprus and Turkey, in conference and concert halls in Tunisia and Pakistan and on the streets of Palestine, to assert that sexual and reproductive rights are universal human rights based on the inherent freedom, dignity and equality of all human beings.

bob film Boys of Bangladesh is proud to be a party of this international campaign and is     arranging this Film Show for the BD LGBT community to express their solidarity with the campaign. Please join in hands and come in bunches to celebrate and foster diversity which makes each of us unique and dignified.

There is no entrance fee for the film show but do confirm your participation beforehand if you don’t want to see the whole movie standing.

Call: Xecon **********
E-mail: xecon27@yahoo.com

And to get a glimpse of the movie, click here

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0292066/

Xecon,a prominent BoB activist who attended the CSBR seminar in Turkey this September forwarded the following Press Release about the  International campaign One Day Struggle to be celebrated in 11 Islamic nations.

one day 1

Press Release

International Campaign to Promote Human Rights across Muslim Societies

Human rights, including sexual and reproductive rights have been under attack in all Muslim societies. Rising conservatism, fueled by militarism, increasing inequalities, the politicization of religion and Islamophobia have strengthened patriarchal and extremist religious ideologies. For instance, last week a woman in Turkey was asked to get written consent from her rapist in order to have an abortion, while a recent bill passed in the Sudan annulled the prohibition of FGM/C and a new legislation in Indonesia’s Aceh now allows for stoning to death as punishment for adultery, while the bodily and sexual rights of Palestinian women continue to be violated in the shadow of the apartheid wall… These examples remind us again that sexuality is not a private issue but a site of political struggle.

On November 9, 2009, a very diverse group of NGOs will stage bold actions in 11 countries to promote human rights. As part of the historic international campaign “One Day One Struggle” organized by the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR), over 20 organizations will hold simultaneous events and public demonstrations on topics like protesting customary practices such as honor killings and FGM/C, overturning discriminatory and life threatening laws like stoning or lashing of women, and calling for LGBT rights, the right to sexuality education and the right to bodily and sexual integrity of all people.

During the Campaign that promises to be a milestone event in the history of the sexual and reproductive rights movement, hundreds will gather in university campuses in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Lebanon and the Sudan, at press conferences in Cyprus, Egypt and Malaysia, in conference and concert halls in Tunisia and Pakistan and on the streets of Turkey and Palestine, to assert that sexual and reproductive rights are universal human rights based on the inherent freedom, dignity and equality of all human beings.

CSBR is a globally renowned solidarity network of progressive NGOs and premier academic institutions in the Middle East, North Africa, South and Southeast Asia, working to promote sexual and bodily rights as human rights in Muslim societies. www.wwhr.org/csbr.php

To find out more about the Campaign in BANGLADESH contact:

-          Centre for Gender, Sexuality and HIV/AIDS James P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University: sabina@bracu.ac.bd; dmsiddiqi@yahoo.com

-          Boys of Bangladesh (BoB): xecon27@yahoo.com

common_banner1

1 Comment

Filed under Ashok DEB, Bangladesh LGBT events, Boys of Bangladesh, International - Policies and Declaration, Islam and Homosexuality

Nemat Safavi, a 21 year old Iranian homosexual,has been sentenced to death

execution

 

 

This post has been forwarded by Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees – IRQR

Nemat Safavi, 21 years old, has been sentenced to death by the juvenile court in Ardebil, a city northwest Iran.

Queers in Iran are put to death and persecution by their government, simply for being who they are. Now more than ever we need your help.

According to the Human Rights Activist Group in Iran, Nemat was detained by Iranian authorities when he was 16 years old because of his homosexual acts (Lavat). He was sentenced to death after being tried in the court of Ardebil. Mr. Safavi spent time since his arrest in a ‘rectification and education’ centre, and is now being kept in the division of youths in an Ardebil prison.

A final determination of Nemat’s fate will be made by Iran’s Supreme Court. However, these sentences frequently stand as decided.

Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees calls on all human rights organizations to take up this urgent cause. We ask that people write, fax, call, or email to Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and any LGBT and/or international organizations to support Nemat and vigorously oppose his execution and the laws against homosexuals.

Your donation to IRQR helps us pursue every legal avenue to save the lives of people like Nemat Safavi. The fight is far from over.
Please, donate now: http://irqr.net/donation.htm

—————————————
Arsham Parsi
Executive Director
Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees – IRQR
www . irqr . net
info @ irqr . net
(001) 416-548-4171
414-477 Sherbourne St.
Toronto, On – M4X 1K5

4 Comments

Filed under International - Persecution of Homosexuals, Islam and Homosexuality

France condemns Uganda’s proposed anti-gay law

Crossposted from Pink News

By Jessica Geen • November 3, 2009 – 19:04

The law will mean death or life in prison for gays

The French foreign ministry has attacked a bill in Uganda which would see gay people facing the death penalty.

“France expresses deep concern regarding the bill currently before the Ugandan parliament,” the foreign ministry said in a statement sent to AFP in Kampala yesterday.

“France reiterates its commitment to the decriminalisation of homosexuality and the fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

American lawmakers have also expressed concern over the bill.

leana Ros-Lehtinen, (Republican, Miami), Tammy Baldwin, (Democrat, Wisconsin), Gary Ackerman, (Democrat, New York) and Howard Berman, (Democrat, California), have written to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warning that it had severe implications for the freedom and safety of gay people.

The letter said: “We write to raise serious concerns about the Anti-Homosexual Bill introduced in Uganda’s parliament earlier this month. This egregious bill represents one of the most extreme anti-equality measures ever proposed in any country and would create a legal pretext for depriving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Ugandans of their liberty, and even their lives.”

The private member’s bill was tabled by Ndorwa West MP David Bahati, of the ruling party.

It would create a new crime of “aggravated homosexuality”.

According to his bill, those convicted of having gay sex with disabled people and those under the 18 would face the death penalty.

Gay and human rights groups have condemned the proposed laws, saying they would violate basic human rights.

The bill also imposes life imprisonment on those who have homosexual sex. Although this is already the case in Uganda, the new law widens the definition of the offence.

Other offence include promoting homosexuality, aiding and abetting homosexuality and keeping a house “for purposes of homosexuality”.

In an article for the Uganda Observer yesterday, Bahati said that homosexuality was not a human right.

He added: ” We will never accept homosexuality for the sake of appeasing other countries or as an incentive for their money.”

Leave a comment

Filed under International - Persecution of Homosexuals, International - Policies and Declaration