Category Archives: Official reports and policy declarations

Bangladesh MSM snapshot released at ICAAP Bali

MSM Country Snapshots for 15 countries was developed as a collaborative product of UNAIDS Regional Support Team, the AIDS Datahub and APCOM.The countries are Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

Each snapshots portrays the latest  behavioural response data available from the Datahub, with information from the Commission on AIDS , and also included in some key sessions relating to MSM at ICAAP. A one-page Regional Picutre snapshot is also attached to each MSM Country Snapshot.

The Snapshots are designed to inform viewers (particularly those who may have little or no knowledge of MSM) about the reality of MSM in-country, to ensure that they have some related facts and figures, and to help spurn interest in attending specific MSM-related sessions.

The latest epidemiological data, released at the forum held by the Asia Pacific in Bali, shows that epidemics in the region are accelerating at an alarming rate.The risk behaviours among MSM and TG in Asia Pacific combined with the unique social, cultural and economic pressures that influence them create cross-cutting issues that must be taken into account by those seeking to support, educate and advocate for these often neglected communities.

“The vast majority of MSM is Southeast Asia are married or will be married, whether they want to be or not,” said Shale Ahmed of the Bandhu Social Welfare Society, Dhaka, Bangladesh

In addition, a large number of MSM in the region who are sex workers face a double stigma, exacerbated by low access to condoms, drug and alcohol abuse, low levels of education, a high level of mobility and dealing with harassment and violence.

The regional Picture Snapshot


http://msmasia.org/tl_files/news/ICAAP_News/Bangladesh_MSM_Country_Snapshot%20_Aug_2009.pdf

1 Comment

Filed under Bangladesh- Policies and declarations, Official reports and policy declarations

Sass Sasot at UN: Reclaiming the lucidity of our hearts

UN Speech – Reclaiming the lucidity of our hearts

Opposing grave human rights violations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity

ECOSOC Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York
Thursday, December 10th 2009 at 1.15 p.m. – 2.45 p.m

Sass Rogando Sasot, transgender activist, Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP)


Links to the entire webcast:

English: http://webcast.un.org/ramgen/ondemand/specialevents/2009/se091210pm2.rm

Spanish: http://webcast.un.org/ramgen/ondemand/specialevents/2009/se091210pm2-orig.rm

Let me begin by expressing my warmest gratitude to the Permanent Missions to the United Nations of Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, France, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, and to the coalition of non-government organizations defending the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Thank you for making this event possible and for giving us this opportunity to contribute our voices to this ongoing conversation for change. Our esteemed participants, beautiful beings, and profound expressions of this Universe, a warm, vibrant, and dignified afternoon to each and every one of you!

Burned at stake. Strangled and hanged. Raped and shot and stabbed to death. Throats slashed. Left to bleed to death. These are just some of the ways transgender people were killed in different parts of the world, in different times in the history of humanity. These are just the tip, the violent tip, of the iceberg of our suffering. I can go on and on, reciting a litany of indignity upon indignity, but my time is not enough to name all the acts of atrocious cruelty that transgender people experience. But what is the point of counting the dead bodies of our fellow human beings, of narrating how we suffer, and of opposing violence against us if we don’t challenge the root of our oppression?

The sincerity of our intention to address the human rights violations against transgender people rests upon the depth of our appreciation of human diversity and the breadth of our understanding of why transgender people suffer these indignities.

The root of our oppression is the belief that there is only one and only one way to be male or female. And this starts from our birth. Upon a quick look on our genitals, we are assigned into either male or female. This declaration is more than just a statement of what’s between our legs. It is a prescription of how we should and must live our lives. It is a dictation of what we should think about ourselves, the roles we should play, the clothes we should wear, the way we should move, and the people with whom we should have romantic or erotic relationships. But the existence of people whose identities, bodies, and experiences do not conform to gender norms is a proof that this belief is wrong.

Nonetheless, even though the truth of human diversity is so evident and clear to us, we choose to hang on to our current beliefs about gender, a belief that rejects reality and forces people to live a lie. This is the belief that leads to attacks on our physical and mental integrity, to different forms of discrimination against us, and to our social marginalization. This is the belief that led to Joan of Arc to be burned at stake because she was cross-dressing. This is the belief that motivated the rape and murder of Brandon Teena on December 31, 1993. This is the belief that led to the stabbing to death of Ebru Soykan, a prominent transgender human rights activist in Turkey, on March 10, 2009. This is the belief that led to the arrest of 67 Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia for cross-dressing in June this year. This is the belief that keeps the list of transgender people being harassed, killed, and violated growing year after year. And it is very unfortunate that our legal systems, religions, and cultures are being used to justify, glorify, and sanctify the violent expressions of this belief.

So we question: Is human life less precious than this belief? Is our right to life, to dignified existence, to liberty, and pursuit of happiness subservient to gender norms? This doesn’t need a complicated answer. You want to be born, to live, and die with dignity – so do we! You want the freedom to express the uniqueness of the life force within you – so do we! You want to live with authenticity – so do we!

Now is the time that we realize that diversity does not diminish our humanity; that respecting diversity does not make us less human; that understanding and accepting our differences do not make us cruel. And in fact, history has shown us that denying and rejecting human variability is the one that has lead us to inflict indignity upon indignity towards each other.

We are human beings of transgender experience. We are your children, your partners, your friends, your siblings, your students, your teachers, your workers, your citizens.

Let our lives delight in the same freedom of expression that you enjoy as you manifest to the outside world your unique and graceful selves.

Let us live together in the fertile ground of our common humanity for this is the ground where religion is not a motivation to hate but a way to appreciate the profound beauty and mysteries of life;

for this is the ground where laws are not tools to eliminate those who are different from us but are there to facilitate our harmonious relationship with each other;

for this is the ground where culture is not a channel to express the brutality of our limited perception but a means to express the nobility of our souls;

for this is the ground where the promise of the universality of human rights can be fulfilled!

And we will be in this ground if we let the sanity of our desires, the tenacity of our compassion, and above all, the lucidity of our hearts to reign in our lives.

Thank you!

—————-

1 Comment

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

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

They want us exterminated: A report on persecuted Iraqi gays by HRW

Murder, Torture, Sexual Orientation and Gender in Iraq

August 17, 2009

This 67-page report documents a wide-reaching campaign of extrajudicial executions, kidnappings, and torture of gay men that began in early 2009. The killings began in the vast Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City, a stronghold of Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia, and spread to many cities across Iraq. Mahdi Army spokesmen have promoted fears about the “third sex” and the “feminization” of Iraq men, and suggested that militia action was the remedy. Some people told Human Rights Watch that Iraqi security forces have colluded and joined in the killing.

Get the Report

Leave a comment

Filed under International - Persecution of Homosexuals, Islam and Homosexuality, Official reports and policy declarations

Asia: National Human Rights Institutions Promote Human Rights of LGBT People

Crossposted from ILGHRC website

http://www.iglhrc.org/cgi-bin/iowa/article/takeaction/resourcecenter/958.html


08/10/2009

ScreenHunter_01 Aug. 12 19.32

National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) have the potential to serve as gatekeepers for the advancement of human rights in their countries. They are considered the “cornerstones of human rights protection systems.” 1

On May 5-7, 2009, nine NHRIs of the Asia Pacific Forum (APF) made history when they gathered for a workshop in Yogyakarta, Indonesia to consider the role of such institutions in the protection and promotion of the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. They were from Australia, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Palestine, Republic of Korea and Thailand, reflecting the breadth of the Asia Pacific region, with its wide political, economic, religious and cultural diversity.

The outcome of the workshop was a consensus statement that lists several actions that NHRIs can take to use their mandates and powers to address discrimination and violence on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, including the promotion and adoption of the Yogyakarta Principles.2

Grace Poore, IGLHRC’s Regional Coordinator for Asia and Pacific Islands was invited by the APF to present a paper at the workshop. She noted, “LGBT people who experience violence and discrimination lose several inter-related rights such as freedom of expression, personal security, and effective legal remedies. They face intersecting discriminations, often held in place by interlocking barriers from multiple institutions—such as legal, medical, law enforcement, judicial, education, religion, family, etc. Abuses against LGBT people frequently involve both state and non-state violators. The APF and its members can be important partners with civil society groups that are working to change how LGBT people are treated in Asia… It can ensure that its member governments meet the accountability benchmark, thus leading by example to facilitate the progress of human rights for all in the region.” For a PDF version of her paper, click here.

Asia Pacific Forum

Started in 1996, the APF has 15 full members who must comply with the Paris Principles, which require an NHRI to be guaranteed independence and autonomy from the government, to cultivate a membership reflecting the diversity of that country’s people (plural membership) and to have powers and resources for investigating human rights violations and violators brought to its attention. The APF is likely the only pan-Asian organization that comes close to being a regional human rights monitoring body like the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, and the Council of Europe.

Issues relating to human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity were first raised by the APF in 2006. In 2008, the APF Councilors agreed to include sexual orientation and gender identity into the APF work plan, beginning with a regional workshop.

Chris Sidoti, one of the key organizers of the APF workshop, says, “The APF statement affirms the most important principle at the heart of human rights law—all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that everyone is entitled to the enjoyment of human rights without distinction of any kind. It also ‘deplores all forms of stereotyping, exclusion, stigmatization, prejudice, intolerance, discrimination and violence directed against peoples, communities and individuals on any ground whatsoever, wherever they occur.’ It recognizes the widespread violations of human rights that occur in the Asia Pacific region on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Sidoti explains that the APF statement has important implications for the work of national institutions all over the world since it provides a basis for them to examine their work of protecting the rights of LGBT people, and to identify measures they can take to be more effective. “Hopefully, NHRIs in other regions and at the international level will follow the APF’s lead,” he adds.

In addition to the recommended actions for NHRIs, the Yogyakarta workshop also recommended action by the APF itself, such as making sure that laws on the books of its member NHRIs are consistent with international human rights law regarding sexual orientation and gender identity, and requesting its Advisory Council of Jurists to review and if necessary recommend changes to laws that are not consistent.
The APF has established a webpage about its work on human rights and sexual orientation and gender identity. All papers from the Yogyakarta workshop are included on this website, which can be accessed at: http://www.asiapacificforum.net/issues/sexual_orientation.

The conclusions of the Yogyakarta workshop will be discussed by the full body of the APF at its annual meeting in 2010. At that time, a decision will be made on whether the APF and its member institutions will recognize the diverse sexual orientations and gender identities of people in the Asia Pacific region, whether it will promote and protect their human rights, and what actions will be taken to implement these commitments. Read the full statement released at the conclusion of the Yogyakarta workshop here.


1- As observed during a March 2008 Internet discussion hosted by HURITALK Human Rights Policy Network about the role of UN agencies and UN country teams in supporting National Human Rights Institutions.2- The Yogyakarta Principles directs national institutions to “promote respect for these Principles by state and non-state actors, and integrate into their work the promotion and protection of the human rights of persons of diverse sexual orientations or gender identities.” For more information, see http://www.yogyakartaprinciples.org/principles_en.htm.

3- The 15 member institutions of the Asia Pacific Forum are from Afghanistan, Australia, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Palestine, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor Leste.

4- Asia Pacific Forum is not to be confused with the newly created ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), which has 10 member states—Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam—all in Southeast Asia. ASEAN stands for Association of Southeast Asian Nations and is a regional trade and economic bloc with a policy of non-interference in the “internal affairs” of its member states. Four countries (Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Malaysia) with national human rights institutions in the Asia Pacific Forum are also members of the AICHR.

Leave a comment

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

Bangladesh signs a treaty equating Homosexuality to pedophillia

The United Nations

The United Nations

by Ashok DEB

On December 18, 2008, 66 Countries signed a historic statement presented in the General Assembly that affirmed that international human rights protections include sexual orientation and gender identity, condemning rights abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

On the very same day Syria read out a treaty in response to the  statement previously delivered by Argentina, claiming that there are no legal basis towards non-discrimination of the sexual minorities. This treaty had 57 signatories including Bangladesh, who denounced Homosexuality by equating it to Pedophilia.

In addition this treaty refers to Article 29 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights to enact laws to uphold the puritan morality and and public behavior by denouncing Homosexuality.

The treaty even hints that persecution and discriminatory legalisation against the sexual minorities should not be interferred by the International community as it falls under the Charter of sovereignty of States and priniciples of non intervention.

This is one of the strongest Homophobic statements I have encountered in recent times. I wonder how could Bangladesh which has a progressive AIDS and STD prevention program could become a signatory to this treaty


Response to SOGI Human Rights Statement, read by Syria – 18 Dec 2008

Mr. President,

I have the honor to make the following statement on behalf of Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Brunei Darussalam, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gambia, Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan*, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, St. Lucia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Togo, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan*, Yemen, and Zimbabwe following the statement previously delivered by Argentina, on behalf of a group of member states on Human Rights and the so-called notions of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity”.

On 10 December 2008, the human rights family celebrated the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and once again made an unequivocal commitment to the principles enshrined therein. On that august occasion, we reiterated that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interrelated, interdependent and mutually reinforcing. There was also a universal acknowledgment that in no country or territory can it be claimed that all human rights have been fully realized at all times for all. Member states declared that the full realization of all human rights for all remains a challenge that they shall not shy away from its magnitude.

The principles of non-discrimination and equality are two faces of the same coin. They are indeed cross-cutting principles in the vast areas related to the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all. Such principles are well-entrenched in the Charter of the United Nations and internationally-agreed human rights instruments, as they all reaffirm the faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, and in the equal rights of men and women without distinction.

Mr. President, in this context, we are seriously concerned at the attempt to introduce to the United Nations some notions that have no legal foundations in any international human rights instrument. We are even more disturbed at the attempt to focus on certain persons on the grounds of their sexual interests and behaviors, while ignoring that intolerance and discrimination regrettably exist in various parts of the world, be it on the basis of color, race, gender, or religion to mention only a few.

Our alarm does not merely stem from concern about the lack of legal grounds, or that the said statement delves into matters which fall essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of States counter to the commitment in the United Nations Charter to respect the sovereignty of States and the principle of non-intervention. More importantly, it arises owing to the ominous usage of those two notions. The notion of orientation spans a wide range of personal choices that expand way beyond the individual’s sexual interest in copulatory behavior with normal consenting adult human beings, thereby ushering in the social normalization and possibly the legitimization of many deplorable acts including pedophilia. The second is often suggested to attribute particular sexual interests or behaviors to genetic factors, a matter that has been scientifically rebuffed repeatedly.

Mr. President, we affirm that those two notions are not and should not be linked to existing international human rights instruments. We believe that people are not inherently vulnerable but some individuals are made vulnerable due to the socio-economic setting that they live in. It follows that vulnerable individuals and groups are those women, children, elderly, peoples under foreign occupation, refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced persons, migrants, persons deprived of their liberty, and persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, who become vulnerable as a result inter alia of intolerance and discrimination against them.

We strongly deplore all forms of stereotyping, exclusion, stigmatization, prejudice, intolerance, discrimination and violence directed against peoples, communities and individuals on any ground whatsoever, wherever†they occur.

We also reaffirm Article 29 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the right of Member States to enact laws that meet “just requirements of morality, public order, and the general welfare in a democratic society”.

We recognize that the enumerated rights contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were codified in subsequent international legal instruments. We note with concern the attempts to create “new rights” or “new standards” by misinterpreting the Universal Declaration and international treaties to include such notions that were never articulated nor agreed by the general membership. These attempts undermine not only the intent of the drafters and the signatories to these human rights instruments, but also seriously jeopardize the entire international human rights framework.

We call upon all Member States to continue and step-up their efforts towards the total elimination of all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

We also call upon all Member States to refrain from attempting to give priority to the rights of certain individuals, which could result in a positive discrimination on the expense of others’ rights and thus run in contradiction with the principles of non-discrimination and equality.

Mr. President, we urge all Member States, the United Nations system, and non-governmental organizations to continue to devote special attention and resources to protect the family as “the natural and fundamental group unit of society” in accordance with article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

To conclude, Mr. President, we also urge all States and relevant international human rights mechanisms to intensify their efforts to consolidate the commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights of everyone on an equal footing without exception.

I would like to mention something that Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan are not in the list. Thank you, Mr. President.

1 Comment

Filed under Ashok DEB, Bangladesh persecution of Homosexuals, Bangladesh- Policies and declarations, International - Persecution of Homosexuals, International - Policies and Declaration, Islam and Homosexuality, Official reports and policy declarations

United Nations: General Assembly Statement Affirming Human Rights Protections Include Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Crossposted from ILGHRC Website

http://www.iglhrc.org/cgi-bin/iowa/article/takeaction/resourcecenter/957.html

For more information about this historic statement, see the joint press release issued by international human rights and LGBT groups here.

On December 18, 2009, 66 Countries signed a statement presented in the General Assembly that affirmed that international human rights protections include sexual orientation and gender identity, condemning rights abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

The original signatories were Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Montenegro, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

On March 18th the United States signed the statement as well.

You can download this statement in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.

In response to this statement, Syria read a statement maintaining that there are no legal foundations in international human rights documents to include protection on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, linking sexual orientation to pedophilia.

Syria read the statement on behalf of Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Brunei Darussalam, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gambia, Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, St. Lucia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Togo, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.

You can download this statement in English here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Analysis of Homosexual Issues, International - Policies and Declaration, Official reports and policy declarations