Tackling violence against LGBTI people and defenders

// October 9th, 2015 // Around the globe, AVP news, International

From Geneva, Anna Brown writes for the International Service for Human Rights about Tackling violence against LGBTI people and defenders.

Governments must also take steps to curb violence and protect individuals from discrimination, she says.

This should include measures to improve the investigation and reporting of hate crimes, torture and ill-treatment, to prohibit discrimination, and to review and repeal all laws used to arrest, punish or discriminate against people on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, just to name a few. All too frequently, authorities (in some countries) fail to properly investigate crimes, even if victims have the confidence to make a complaint. As the statement by the UN agencies makes clear, this leads to widespread impunity and lack of justice, remedies and support for victims.

Anna Brown writes that we can take heart from the positive progress in many parts of the world. In Australia there has been legislation introduced to a number of states to erase or ‘expunge’ historic convictions for consensual homosexual conduct. Recently in Ireland reforms have ensured that transgender people have access to birth certificates on the basis of their own declaration rather than requiring stigmatising and invasive medical procedures. Improved responses to LGBTI hate crime, including training of law enforcement officials and specific specialist taskforces or prosecuting teams dedicated to tackling bias-motivated violence have been introduced in countries such as in Spain, Honduras and South Africa.

Anna Brown is Director of Advocacy with the Human Rights Law Centre, a former ISHR trainee and Co-Convenor of the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaHRLC.


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