A new report from the United Nations Human Rights Council makes a sweeping set of demands on every country on earth. These aren’t suggestions but ‘obligations’, many of them to comply with international law.
The report says LGBTI rights are improving in some countries but this is ‘overshadowed by continuing, serious and widespread human rights violations’.
Here are the 24 key ways the report says all nations should stop that:
- Decriminalize homosexuality. Prosecuting people for consensual gay sex is against international law.
- Ban ‘conversion’ therapy or ‘gay cures’ and the forced sterilization of trans people.
- Make forced genital and anal examinations illegal. ‘Anal probes’ are used by some countries to find out if people have had gay sex and are considered a form of torture.
- Wipe clean the criminal records of anyone found guilty of gay sex.
- Create hate crime laws that mean criminals motivated by homophobia and transphobia get tougher sentences.
- Investigate violent hate crime and the torture of LGBT people immediately. Bring those responsible to justice and help the victims.
- Collect and publish data on LGBT hate crime.
- Criminalize hate speech that incites violence against LGBTI people.
- Train police and judges to understand LGBTI issues. Make sure prison officers know how to protect LGBT prisoners.
- Guarantee asylum for any LGBTI people whose lives might be at risk if returned home because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Stop asking ‘intrusive, inappropriate’ questions about the sex lives of LGBTI asylum seekers and train refugee and border personnel how to deal with them properly.
- Scrap ‘gay propaganda’ laws – like the one in Russia.
- Allow freedom of expression, association and assembly to LGBTI people. This will include the right to hold Prides, dress in whatever gender clothes they want and more.
- Make sure lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex are protected by anti-discrimination laws.
- Train doctors and nurses so they understand the health needs of LGBTI people, including sexual health and suicide prevention.
- Fight homophobic and transphobic bullying and discrimination in schools. Provide helplines for vulnerable LGBTI kids.
- Give age-appropriate sex education to all.
- Set up shelters for homeless LGBT people, particularly youths, older people and ‘those in emergency situations’. Make sure all LGBTI people have fair access to housing.
- Offer legal recognition to same-sex couples and their children. This implies but does not state equal marriage. The report says countries should ‘ensure that benefits traditionally accorded married partners – including those related to benefits, pensions, and taxation and inheritance – are accorded on a non-discriminatory basis’.
- Let people choose their own gender on legal documents like passports.
- Stop sterilizing trans people or forcing them to have treatment, or get divorced, before you recognize their true gender. They should be legally recognized as the gender they want from the moment they want to.
- Educate the public to combat homophobic and transphobic attitudes.
- Tackle negative, stereotypical portrayals of LGBT people in the media.
- Make sure lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex people and organizations are consulted on new laws and policies that impact their rights.
The full report here.