Archive for April, 2011

Call for Nominations – Human Rights Defenders Tulip 2011

The Dutch Government’s human rights award, the Human Rights Defenders Tulip has since 2008 been presented to an individual who has shown exceptional courage in protecting and promoting the rights of fellow human beings.

The winner receives a bronze statuette. In addition, the winner may submit a project proposal for possible funding for his or her work as a human rights defender. In addition, the winner is given the opportunity to meet with relevant stakeholders in Europe.

An independent jury selects the winner. The Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs presents the Human Rights Defenders Tulip award  in December 2011.

Nominees can be from any country and anyone can make an nomination. Nominees should be individuals (not organizations), whose daily work involves the promotion or protection of human rights by peaceful means. They should be individuals who have faced or are at risk of facing negative, personal consequences because of their human rights work. They are individuals who could benefit from the recognition and visibility of winning the prize.

Find out more about the award and nomination process as well as biographies on past recipients here

David Bahati continues to push for Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill

AP Photo/Ronald Kabuubi

The Council hopes that this is just a last desperate act by MP Bahati as the curtain closes on the current parliament in Uganda.  We urge the United States to hold President Museveni to his assurance that this bill will not become law, even if the death penalty is removed.

Read reports about recent developments from the Associated Press and Box Turtle Bulletin.

Malawi Government Targets NGOs Working for LGBTI Human Rights

repost from African Activist

In less than 20 days after the United States unfroze $350 million in foreign aid to Malawi, the government is claiming that Norwegian and Dutch funding of NGOs working for LGBTI human rights is “being used by external forces to destabilize the government…These are the people who are being used as agents from the government’s enemies.” Information and Civic Education Minister Vuwa Kaunda and Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Dr George Chaponda handed the media a document with information about the donations.

The government is targeting two NGOs specifically: Center for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Center for the Development of People (CEDEP).Continue Reading Story.

Related: Millennium Challenge Corporation signs $350 million development assistance compact with Malawi

The State Department’s Annual Human Rights Report: A Firmly Measured Response to Egregious Abuse

April 13, 2011 – The State Department last week released its annual human rights report.  Once again, the Council for Global Equality applauds the State Department’s effort to “provide an overview of the human rights situation around the world as a means to raise awareness of human rights conditions, in particular as these conditions affect the well-being of women, children, racial and religious minorities, trafficking victims, members of indigenous groups and ethnic communities, persons with disabilities, sexual minorities, refugees, and members of other vulnerable groups.”  And once again this year, the report bears witness to a clear and growing crisis in human rights abuse directed against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people worldwide.

For the second year in a row, every country chapter now includes a section on “societal abuses, discrimination, and acts of violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” highlighting LGBT-related incidents in almost every country in the world.  Those abuses include arbitrary arrest and detention, police abuse, rape, murder, social exclusion, impediments to political participation, discriminatory health practices and extreme trends in employment discrimination that exclude far too many citizens from the economic life of their own country.  In many cases, the report notes that transgender individuals, lesbians and refugee fare even worse. (View a compendium of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) references in the report.)

While the State Department’s annual report to Congress examines a broad range of human rights concerns impacting various minority communities, the report sets out in stark terms how dangerous it is for LGBT individuals to go about their daily lives as ordinary citizens in many parts of the world.  The report also makes clear that LGBT rights are not special rights, but that they are firmly rooted in basic human rights protections that are shared by all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and that those protections are under severe attack in the world today. Continue Reading

Human Rights Reports 2011, Congressional Briefing

(L) Amb. Michael Guest (ret.), Senior Advisor, The Council for Global Equality (R) Dr. Daniel Baer, Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. State Department

The Council for Global Equality on Friday participated in a Congressional briefing hosted by the LGBT Equality Caucus to mark the release of the U.S. State Department’s annual Human Rights Report. The briefing was moderated by the Council’s Senior Advisor, Amb. Michael Guest (ret.), with Dr. Daniel Baer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, highlighting trends in the LGBT human rights records of the 194 countries reviewed in this year’s report.  Members of the international human rights advocacy community and Congressional staff attended the briefing.

Read a compendium of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) references in the report.

Click here to view video (also in Spanish) from the U.S. State Department marking the release of the reports.
Click here to read a story by the Washington Blade on the release of the reports.

Council position on suspension of $350 million in development assistance to Malawi

In February the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. government-funded development institution, suspended an agreement with Malawi, focused on energy sector development, based in part on concerns over a new law criminalizing consensual relations between women. (See news reports here.)

Read the Council’s position here

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