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Sexual minority groups in India have long been subject to criminalisation, discrimination, virulent social stigma and harassment. Numerous reports, accounts, and narratives document the wide range of human rights violations faced by MSM and transgender people in India. These violations increase manifold the vulnerability of these groups to HIV. Additionally, the criminalisation, discrimination, stigma faced by MSM and transgender are major barriers to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.
One of the principles of human rights is the right to be free from discrimination. The concept of human rights states that human beings are born equal and equivalent. In regard to this principle of non-discrimination, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and people with HIV can be categorized as a group vulnerable to human rights violation. Within the concept of human rights, the state must take affirmative action on behalf of vulnerable groups.
In 2011, Indonesia ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Article 2, paragraph 2 states that:
"States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to guarantee that the rights set forth in the present Covenant will be exercised without discrimination of any kind as to race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other views, national origin or social origin, property, birth or other status.”
The National Human Rights Commission of Nepal (NHRC) has taken a special interest in protecting and promoting the rights of LGBTI people through its plans, policies and activities. For example, the NHRC has expressly included LGBTI rights in its Strategic Plan. The NHRC has actively monitored and investigated human rights violations against LGBTI people and conducted activities developing capacity, raising awareness and advocating for the rights of LGBTI people. In order to undertake these activities, the NHRC has appointed an LGBTI focal person.
This report reviews rights reporting mechanisms and organizations with a mandate to address human rights in Pakistan, with a view to considering the availability and accessibility of such mechanisms for the community of people of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI).
This report will consider the newly established National Commission for Human Rights, State institutions with a human rights mandate and a small number of non-governmental bodies with a human rights mandate. The scope of this report does not extend to consider rights reporting mechanisms to the extent they are available through police and law enforcement agencies.
Since 2010, the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHR or Commission) has embarked on several initiatives to define its human rights programs on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) and HIV. This report looks into the progress that the CHR has made in the areas of SOGI and HIV, maps out potential challenges it may encounter, and proposes actions to help the Commission move forward.
The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL or Commission) is tasked with the difficult mandate of addressing human rights issues in a country emerging from decades of intrastate conflict. While HRCSL data indicates that since the end of the civil war in May 2009, complaints related to violations of civil liberties have decreased;1 there is still considerable pressure from national and international human rights advocates, for Sri Lanka to address rights violations that occurred during the conflict. In post-conflict Sri Lanka, the HRCSL faces an increasing number of complaints regarding school admissions, land problems and government inactivity.
Since gaining independence in 2002, the people and State of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste have strived towards greater political and socio-economic development. This collective optimism is evidenced in the National Development Plan (2011-2030), which highlights the need for development of social capital in areas including education and training, health and social inclusion.
It is estimated that there are nearly 10 million transgender people in this region, many of who often endure stigma and prejudice every day of their lives. Governments and communities alike must take steps to fully recognize, and begin to protect, the individual rights of all of citizens - including transgender people - if the region is to reach the goals in the UNAIDS strategic vision for the year 2015 of "Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths."
In the Asia region, an increasing number of HIV infections occur among men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender people. Unless effective HIV prevention strategies are implemented, the Commission on AIDS in Asia’s regional projections predict that about half (46%) of all new HIV infections in Asia will soon be among MSM, an increase of 13% from 2008. While inadequate HIV data exists on transgender women due to their limited inclusion in national HIV surveillance systems, studies that do exist show transgender women are at disproportionate risk for HIV infection.
The report is based on a series of national dialogues between NHRIs and LGBTI communities to boost cooperation and understanding. Equally important, this initiative supported NHRIs to document their efforts and achievements in advocating for the rights of people of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI).
The International Law and Development Organization (IDLO) enables governments and empowers people to reform laws and strengthen institutions to promote peace, justice, sustainable development and economic opportunity. IDLO works along the spectrum from nation and peace building to economic recovery in countries emerging from conflict or striving towards democracy. www.idlo.int
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in 177 countries and territories, UNDP offers global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. http://asia-pacific.undp.org
The APF is a member-based organisation made up of national human rights institutions in the region. Established in 1996, it currently comprises 19 members from countries throughout the Asia Pacific. It seeks to protect and promote the human rights of the people of the Asia Pacific by providing training and advice and promoting mutual support, cooperation and joint activity among member institutions. In addition, it provides support to governments in the region seeking to establish and strengthen national human rights institutions. http://www.asiapacificforum.net