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.

 

Australia’s Gen Z Study

Australia’s Gen Zs: negotiating religion, sexuality & diversity

ANU, Deakin and Monash Universities, 2019.

Contemporary teenagers (Gen Z) are exposed to diversity in ways that are unprecedented, through social media, school and peers. How do they experience and understand religious, spiritual, gender and sexual diversity?

How are their experiences mediated by where they go to school, their faith and their geographic location? Are they materialist, secular, religious, spiritual, or do they have hybrid identities? How religiously literate are they? How is this shaping their worldviews?

The Australian Gen Z study provides a powerful insight into how teenagers are making sense of the world around them. This Australian Research Council funded project creates new ways of understanding the complexity of young people’s lives and the ways they are apprehending and dealing with diversity. We argue school education about worldviews is founded on ways of thinking about young people that do not reflect the complexities of Gen Z’s everyday experiences of diversity and their interactions with each other.

In October 2019 the first project report was released as part of the AGZ Study.

Largest national study exploring the health and wellbeing of young LGBTIQ people

Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society (ARCSHS) at La Trobe University, 2019

This is Me is the largest national study exploring the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ young people in Australia. Conducted by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society (ARCSHS) at La Trobe University, this short (8-10 minute) survey asks young people a range of questions about health and wellbeing as well as who young people go to for help and support if they need it.

This is Me is the fourth study of its kind. ARCSHS has previously conducted versions of this study in 1998, 2004 and 2010, as well as a study specifically about the health and wellbeing of transgender and gender diverse young people in 2014. These studies documented high levels of harm, and examined the impact that such stigma and discrimination had on the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ+ young people, as well as seeking to better understand who LGBTIQ+ young people turned to when in need.

The data collected from This is Me will provide important insight into the present-day lives and experiences of LGBTIQ young people. The responses young people give will help us to understand what can support LGBTIQ young people to thrive.

Evidence from the study will enable organisations, services and government to make informed decisions about how to best support the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ young people. Findings from the study will inform the development of LGBTIQ-inclusive mainstream, and LGBTIQ-specific, youth policies, programs and services.

 

  • Please do not promote the survey via Twitter – this platform is deliberately not part of the promotion strategy.

 

  • You can let young people know the supports available to them if filling out the survey triggers any strong feelings and they want to chat about it. If you offer counselling or support, let them know. Remind young people of support options such as Qlife, headspace or Reachout. Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or atkidshelpline.com.au or Lifeline on 13 11 14 or at lifeline.org.au 24 hours/day 7 days per week.

 

  • Read the FAQ here FAQs

 

 

Understanding the experiences of Culturally Diverse LGBTIQ+ Talent at Work

Diversity Council Australia, 2019

While many workplaces have developed LGBTIQ+ inclusion programs, they are not currently specifically addressing the cultural diversity of LGBTIQ+ people.

DCA, along with Pride in Diversity, is undertaking research to help better understand the experiences of Culturally Diverse LGBTIQ+ Talent at Work.

This project will help with understanding of the experiences of people of LGBTIQ+ people from culturally diverse backgrounds, and will assist in providing informed advice to workplaces about how to make inclusion initiatives work.

  • Are you or one of your colleagues an LGBTIQ+ person from a non-Anglo or a non-Main English speaking country cultural background?
  • Can you share your insights to help develop workplace guidance for Australian organisations wanting to better harness the skills and talents of LGBTIQ+ people from culturally diverse backgrounds?

What do I need to do?

2019 Community Survey Results from The South Australian Rainbow Advocacy Alliance (SARAA)

SARAA, 1 April 2019

The South Australian Rainbow Advocacy Alliance (SARAA) has analysed the results of their community survey and compiled them into a summary.

Some key findings:

  • Only 60% of respondents felt comfortable disclosing their gender and/or their
    sexual orientation when accessing services.
  • When accessing services, 37.7% of respondents felt that they didn’t receive
    sufficient and meaningful information to inform decision making.
  • 64% felt that the current level of LGBTIQ+ specific services did not
    adequately meet their needs.
  • This includes a lack of services and supports to rural and remote
    communities, a lack of services and supports for older LGBTIQ+ people
    and cuts to vital services for LGBTIQ+ people.
  • More support for trans people to access necessary medical services.

 

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.