Arts & culture

There are numerous sources of information on life as a LGBT(I) person in the different countries where Denmark are engaged in developmental partnerships: Magazines, references to book titles, film clips or references to these. And at we have started to include these in our resources. Read about for example the newest issue of Qzine - African’s only magazine of LGBTI arts and culture. Find them in our extensive database of resources.

Q zine 10

The UN and LGBT Rights

2012 has seen a historical focus on gender identity and sexual orientation within the United Nations, making it a very significant year in the movement towards basic human rights for all.

On March 7 2012 the UN Human Rights Council convened a panel debate concerning LGBT equality, for the first time focusing explicitly on gender identity and sexual orientation.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, urged countries to improve their laws and policies to better serve LGBT citizens. She pushed for decriminalisation of homosexuality and the acceptance of LGBT people who seek asylum due to persecution:

The main purpose of the panel debate was to affirm the UN human rights report of November 2011, ”Discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity”. This report shows how discrimination against LGBT persons has wide-ranging consequences within areas of relevance in development work such as employment, education, family-life and health care.

For example criminalisation of homosexuality can deter individuals from seeking health services for fear of revealing criminal conduct. Even within countries without criminal sanctions, homophobic, sexist and transphobic practices and attitudes on the part of health-care institutions and personnel may deter LGBT persons from seeking services, which in turn has a negative impact on efforts to tackle HIV/AIDS and other health concerns.

The UN report states that all people, including LGBT persons are entitled to enjoy the protections provided for by international human rights law. This includes the respect of rights to life, security of person and privacy, the right to be free from torture, arbitrary arrests and detention, the right to be free from discrimination and the right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.

The Human Rights Commission focuses on the obligations of states to prevent violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, refering to various international human rights instruments (specified on page 5-8):

See the UN report "Discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity”

The UN has also published a leaflet on how to tackle discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

It offers a two-page description of the UN's work in the LGBT area as well as legal guidance to States issued by human rights treaty bodies.

UN leaflet (april 2011) on protection of LGBT rights

Here is a short video explaining the history of LGBT rights at the UN (duration 2:50):

A 2016 publication by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and United Nations Human Rights Mechanisms focuses on the resolution 275 of the African Commission and the work of several of the Commission’s thematic rapporteurs; resolutions of the Organization of American States and the work of the Rapporteurship on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex persons at the Inter-American Commission; and the work of United Nations agencies, treaty bodies, and special procedures, and resolutions at the United Nations Human Rights Council. The richness of the discussions and the innovative ideas and experiences  are shared by the experts from three organisation, thus illustrating the value of such dialogues and exchanges to address the common challenges for LGBTIQ persons: Ending violence and other human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity: A joint dialogue of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and United Nations

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