Posts tagged ‘IGLHRC’

December 9, 2011

IGLHRC -Statement on Nigeria’s Pending Anti Gay Legislation

For Immediate Release

Statement on Nigeria’s Pending Anti Gay Legislation
by Jabulani Chen Pereira, IGLHRC Africa Program Coordinator

Media Contact:
Roberta Sklar, Press Secretary, IGLHRC
+1-917-704-6358; rsklar@iglhrc.org

(United Nations, New York, Dec 9) We urge the President of Nigeria to lead his government in a manner that clearly abides with the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The impact of the decision by the Nigerian Senate to pass this Bill, know as the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill, 2011 has placed Gays, Lesbians, Gender Variant and Gender non-conforming citizens in great fear for their safety and well-being. The Bill reaches far beyond the issue of the right to marry. It not only bans same sex marriage, it criminalizes witnessing of such marriages, affection expressed publicly between members of the same sex, and a ban on the existence of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations. As the Bill is now before the Nigerian House of Representatives for a vote and the President for his signature, we call on all United Nations Member States to denounce the Bill. We urge the Government of Nigeria to permanently withdraw this Bill from Nigerian politics.

Nigeria is currently ranked 156 of 187 on the United Nations Development Index (HDI). Within Nigeria there are overwhelming challenges regarding poverty eradication, access to basic health, and the right of all citizens to enjoy education. The question: Why is the Government of Nigeria targeting same sex relationships as its area of focus? This is counter-productive and merely shifts attention from its State priorities in attaining the challenges set out in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It is the states responsibility to ensure that its citizens have access and enjoy all the rights set as out in the United Nation Declaration of Human Rights.

This Bill is in serious breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as Nigeria’s constitution that affords citizens the right to live in human dignity.

The specific restrictions of this bill and the banning of civil society organizations is a major step backwards in building an active, vibrant and tolerant society.

 

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February 18, 2011

The IGLHRC report on blackmail and extortion of LGBTI people in Africa.

African Activist has posted a link to a just released report from the IGLHRC on the blackmail and extortion of LGBTI people in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is quite disturbing. African Activist notes:

“The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has just published a report documenting how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons are targeted by blackmail and extortion in nations with anti-LGBTI laws and deeply ingrained social stigma.

Download the PDF report here.

November 17, 2010

A Good Reason for Caribbean Shame.

Some days I wake up and the news makes me cheery while other days it makes me really pissed. Today was one of the pissed days. I met an email in my inbox from the IGLHRC noting that they were ” deeply disappointed with yesterday’s vote in the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly to remove a reference to sexual orientation from a resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.” Deeply disappointed with? Maybe they are afraid to say they are disgusted with the ill-informed piss poor states who supported the removal – I’m not . The motion was introduced by Benin which will now forever be associated with evil in my mind. Included in the list of supporters of the removal are such human rights luminaries as Iran, Afghanistan and China.

Most disturbing was the number of Caribbean states that chose to either support the removal of the clause or abstain. The Caribbean has good reason to be ashamed today and LGBT people should have a look at the list at the bottom of the release and know exactly what their government thinks of them. The Jamaican PM’s recent hints that he supports the rights of all people and T&T’s new government’s words about inclusiveness can now be exposed as the hypocrisy that they are.  Yet another fine example of the developing world showing the rest of the planet why no one should take it too seriously when it comes to human rights.

If there are any errors in this quick post I will correct them later – I am too pissed right now.

Via IGLHRC

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and ARC International are deeply disappointed with yesterday’s vote in the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly to remove a reference to sexual orientation from a resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. The resolution urges States to protect the right to life of all people, including by calling on states to investigate killings based on discriminatory grounds. For the past 10 years, the resolution has included sexual orientation in the list of discriminatory grounds on which killings are often based.

The removed reference was originally contained in a non-exhaustive list in the resolution highlighting the many groups of people that are particularly targeted by killings – including persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, persons acting as human rights defenders (such as lawyers, journalists or demonstrators) as well as street children and members of indigenous communities. Mentioning sexual orientation as a basis on which people are targeted for killing highlights a situation in which particular vigilance is required in order for all people to be afforded equal protection.

The amendment removing the reference to sexual orientation was sponsored by Benin on behalf of the African Group in the UN General Assembly and was adopted with 79 votes in favor, 70 against, 17 abstentions and 26 absent.

“This vote is a dangerous and disturbing development,” said Cary Alan Johnson, Executive Director of IGLHRC. “It essentially removes the important recognition of the particular vulnerability faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people – a recognition that is crucial at a time when 76 countries around the world criminalize homosexuality, five consider it a capital crime, and countries like Uganda are considering adding the death penalty to their laws criminalizing homosexuality.”

This decision in the General Assembly flies in the face of the overwhelming evidence that people are routinely killed around the world because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, and renders these killings invisible or unimportant. The Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions has highlighted documented cases of extrajudicial killings on the grounds of sexual orientation including individuals facing the death penalty for consensual same-sex conduct; individuals tortured to death by State actors because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation; paramilitary groups killing individuals because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation as part of “social cleansing” campaigns; individuals murdered by police officers with impunity because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation; and States failing to investigate hate crimes and killings of persons because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation.

“It is a matter of great shame that the responsible Committee of the United Nations General Assembly failed in its responsibility to explicitly condemn well-documented killings based on sexual orientation,” said John Fisher, Co-Director of ARC international. “The credibility of the United Nations requires protection of all persons from violations of their fundamental human rights, including on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. We thank those States which supported the inclusion of sexual orientation in the text, and will redouble our collective efforts to ensure that Member States of the United Nations maintain the standards they have sworn to uphold.”

The amendment runs counter to other positive developments in UN and regional human rights systems where there is increased recognition of the need for protection from discrimination regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. At a September 2010 panel held in conjunction with a session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon unequivocally recognized “the particular vulnerability of individuals who face criminal sanctions, including imprisonment and in some cases the death penalty, on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Sixty-eight countries have also signed a joint statement in the UN General Assembly on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity which calls for an end to “human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity … in particular the use of the death penalty on this ground [and] extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.”

IGLHRC and ARC International urge all States, regardless of their vote on this amendment, to sign the UNGA joint statement affirming support of the human rights of all people, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity and to continue in efforts to decriminalize same-sex conduct and to end other discrimination, including violence, on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The votes to amend the resolution were as follows:

In favor of the amendment to remove sexual orientation from the resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (79):

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Brunei Dar-Sala, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, China, Comoros, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guyana, Haiti, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Opposed to the amendment to remove sexual orientation from the resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (70):

Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Micronesia (FS), Monaco, Montenegro, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela

Abstain (17):

Antigua-Barbuda, Barbados, Belarus, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Colombia, Fiji, Mauritius, Mongolia, Papau New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Absent (26):

Albania, Bolivia, Central African Republic, Chad, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Marshall Island, Mauritania, Nauru, Nicaragua, Palau, Sao Tome Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Togo, Tonga, Turkey, Turkmenistan