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.

 

Responding to LGBT conversion therapy in Australia: report

GLHV@ARCSHS, La Trobe University & Human Rights Law Centre, 2018

This report highlights the nature, extent and impact of LGBT conversion therapies in Australia.

The report is designed to help government, support services and faith communities to better respond to those experiencing conflict between their gender identity or sexual orientation and their beliefs.

Factsheet on the new The Marriage Law Survey (Additional Safeguards) Bill 2017

The Equality Campaign, 18/09/2017

The Marriage Law Survey (Additional Safeguards) Bill 2017 was introduced into parliament (and passed) at the end of last week. Included as a part of the bill was a series of temporary measures to protect people from vilification, harassment or threats of harm during the current postal survey campaign.

Also included as a part of the bill is a series of requirements in relation to campaign materials (including any form of external communication) and advertising, that are papplicable to any individual or organisation during the postal survey campaign period.

Measures and requirements that have been introduced into the bill are only applicable until the date in which the Australian Bureau of Statistics is due to announce the results of the Marriage Law Postal Survey, on 15 November 2017.

The attached fact sheet has been prepared by the Equality Campaign to assist stakeholders with activities for the upcoming campaign period. Included are the responsibilities and considerations that organisations need to review prior to distributing any material or communicating in any form that has the intent of encouraging participation in the Marriage Law Postal Survey or encouraging a vote one way or the other. The fact sheet contains essential information and new requirements that are applicable for the next eight weeks. Please note that these provisions took effect from Thursday 14 September 2017.

Trump-Pence Administration Asserts Civil Rights Laws Won’t Apply to LGBQ People

The Human Rights Campaign, July 26, 2017

Today, HRC issued the following statement in response to an amicus brief filed by the Department of Justice arguing that Title VII does not protect lesbian, gay, or bisexual people on the basis of sex:

“Attacks against the LGBTQ community at all levels of government continue to pour in from the Trump-Pence Administration,” said Sarah Warbelow, HRC Legal Director. “In one fell swoop, Trump’s DOJ has provided a roadmap for dismantling years of federal protections and declared that lesbian, gay, and bisexual people may no longer be protected by landmark civil rights laws such as the Fair Housing Act, Title IX, or Title VII. For over a decade, courts have determined that discrimination on the basis of LGBTQ status is unlawful discrimination under federal law. Today’s filing is a shameful retrenchment of an outmoded interpretation that forfeits faithful interpretation of current law to achieve a politically-driven and legally specious result.”

More sex please: ending barriers in the bedroom [for people with physical disabilities]

Sydney Morning Herald, November 11, 2015

Now 23, Ariane was born with cerebral palsy spastic quadriplegia, which means she has reduced muscle tone in parts of her body and uses a wheelchair.

It also means, like many people with physical disabilities, she has relied on assistance in the past to lead a normal adult sexual life; including help getting undressed before hopping into bed with her boyfriend at the time (who also had a physical disability).

“There’s this idea that we’re not allowed to have sex, that it’s gross,” says Ariane.

  • Read more of this article here
  • Read about the Deakin University study here