TREATY BODIES: FIVE YEARS OF RESEARCH SHOW INTERNATIONAL LAW INCREASINGLY PROTECTS LGBTI PERSONS’ RIGHTS

ASIA PACIFIC ALLIANCE FOR SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS (APA),  2020

The United Nations Treaty Bodies are an authoritative source of international law, and have steadily contributed to protecting the human rights of LGBTI persons. A review of their activities in 2017 and 2018, released by ILGA World, shows that references to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) made by the committees have hit an all-time high.

The report on  United Nations Treaty Bodies: References to Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex characteristics’ is a comprehensive annual compilation and analysis of all the SOGIESC references made by nine UN Treaty Bodies (CESCR, HRCtee, CEDAW, CRC, CAT, CRPD, CERD, CMW and CED) in 2018, produced by ILGA.
It investigates the Treaty Bodies’ General Comments (interpretations of the international human rights treaties), Individual Communications (complaints brought by individuals or organisations), Lists of Issues (issues and questions sent to the States parties before the main review) and Concluding Observations (country-specific concerns and recommendations).

In 2018, Treaty Bodies made a record high of 138 SOGIESC references and recommendations. This is more than 2.5 times growth from 2014, and active participation of CS groups was one of the important factors contributing to this.  

How did Asia Pacific countries fare?   Here’s all the AP countries under review in 2018, by treaty. 

Highlighted countries received recommendations on LGBTI and/or had civil society reports that mentioned LGBTI :

·         2018 Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights :  Bangladesh, New Zealand (read more on p22)

·         2018 Human Right Committee (ICCPR) : Lao 

·         2018 Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women:  Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Lao, Malaysia, Nepal , New Zealand, R of Korea, Samoa  (read more on p. 44)

·         2018 Committee on the Rights of the Child:  Lao, Marshall Islands, Palau, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka (read more on p 57)

·         2018 Committee Against Torture:  [Canada*], Maldives, Russia,  Viet Nam, (read more on p 64)

·         2018 Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Nepal, Philippines, Russia (read more on p 73)

·         2018 Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: China, Iraq, Japan, Nepal, R of Korea  (read more on p 80)

·         2018 Committee on Migrant Workers:

·         2018 Committee on Enforced Disappearances:  Japan (read more on p 90)

NOTE: Central Asia was not included in the above listing. Canada was included as there is a member organisation there.

 

Trans health and the risks of inappropriate curiosity

BMJ, September 9, 2019

Care providers need to be aware of the damage of inappropriate curiosity when working with people who are transgender, say Adam Shepherd, Benjamin Hanckel, and Andy Guise.

Encountering inappropriate curiosity is a common experience among people who identify as LGBT. This kind of behaviour shouldn’t happen in a healthcare facility, yet recent reports from Stonewall and the government’s Equalities Office confirm that this is a problem in healthcare and that it particularly affects people who are transgender.

What do we mean when we say that a healthcare provider is showing “inappropriate curiosity?” Researchers provided insight into what this is in a study where they describe trans participants being asked intrusive questions about their personal lives and being subjected to invasive physical examinations. Participants felt that these were irrelevant to why they had sought out medical care, and that their only purpose was to satisfy the personal interest of the healthcare practitioner. Imagine, for example, going to your GP for a chronic cough and being asked what genitals you have, or going for a foot X-ray and the radiographer making comments about your breasts.

Second HOW2 course announced for 2019

SHINE SA, July 2019

Our first course filled up, and as a result we are pleased to announce a second HOW2 course for this year! The HOW2 CREATE LGBTI INCLUSIVE SERVICES training program is an in-depth, practical program which helps organisations reach their inclusivity goals and potentially achieve accreditation as an inclusive service.

Delivered over 4 separate days, interspersed with time to implement practical improvements to your workplace’s inclusivity, this program will provide immediate benefits to your organisation.

The program is based on a set of 6 national standards developed by Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria (GLHV), in conjunction with QIP (Quality, Innovation & Performance), known as Rainbow Tick Accreditation. SHINE SA was the first South Australian organisation to be awarded Rainbow Tick accreditation for LGBTI inclusive practice and is proud to support other organisations to create safer and more inclusive workplaces and services.

**If you are a not-for-profit or community youth-focused service you may qualify for the Department of Human Services Training subsidy.

DATES (Participants are required to attend all 4 sessions):

First session: Friday 4 October 2019
Second session: Friday 8 November 2019
Third session: Friday 13 December 2019
Final session: Friday 31 January 2020

TIME: 9:30am – 2:30pm

WHERE: SHINE SA @ Woodville

 

 

 

 

 

Scotland to embed LGBTI teaching across curriculum

The Guardian, 9/12/2018

Scotland will become the first country in the world to embed the teaching of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex rights in the school curriculum, in what campaigners have described as a historic moment.

State schools will be required to teach pupils about the history of LGBTI equalities and movements, as well as tackling homophobia and transphobia and exploring LGBTI identity, after ministers accepted in full the recommendations of a working group led by the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign. There will be no exemptions or opt-outs to the policy, which will embed LGBTI inclusive education across the curriculum and across subjects and which the Scottish government believes is a world first.

LGBTIQ People Ageing Well Report released (SA)

COTA SA & South Australian Rainbow Advocacy Alliance (SARAA), July 2018

The LGBTIQ People Ageing Well Project commenced in April 2017 as a 12-month
joint project between COTA SA and the South Australian Rainbow Advocacy Alliance (SARAA). The main aim of the project was to engage with older people from South Australia’s LGBTIQ communities to find out what matters most to them as they age to better inform policy and create a groundswell for change to the policies that impact on the lives of older LGBTIQ people.

The project also celebrated the lives and contributions of older LGBTIQ people. Their
stories and lived experiences have the power to promote a greater understanding
of a unique set of issues, but also the power to create changes that will support and
enhance the lives of South Australia’s older LGBTIQ population.

This report makes a number of recommendations that can and will make a significant difference to the lives of older LGBTIQ South Australians, and must be addressed by all levels of government and the ageing and aged care sector.

 

 

 

Out at Work: from Prejudice to Pride report

RMIT University, 16 Aug 2018

Less than a third of LGBTIQ+ employees in Australia are out to all their colleagues and this significantly compromises their wellbeing and work performance, new research has found.

According to the Out at Work: from Prejudice to Pride report released today, roughly 25 per cent of employees were out to some people and almost 40 per cent were out to most people at work.

The report was based on an online survey of more than 1,600 LGBTIQ+ workers about their experiences, as well as face-to-face think tanks with more than 60 LGBTIQ+ employees working at various levels across a range of organisations and industries.

The joint RMIT and Diversity Council Australia (DCA) report highlighted the complexities related to coming out at work – from coming out multiple times a day, week or year; coming out to some colleagues but not others; and being outed against their will.

Workplace culture, genuine bold leadership and policies were identified as the keys to creating an environment where LGBTIQ+ staff felt safe to come out.