Archive for the 'International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia' Category



Cameroon: Rights Abuses in ‘Homosexuality’ Prosecutions


Human Rights Watch has released a 55 page report titled “Guilty by Association: Human Rights Violations in the Enforcement of Cameroon’s Anti-Homosexuality Law,” which documents 10 case studies of arrests and prosecutions under article 347 bis of Cameroon’s penal code, which punishes “sexual relations between persons of the same sex” with up to five years in prison. The report finds that most cases are prosecuted with little or no evidence.

Visit Human Rights Watch to download the report as well as to read a summary of the report.

Ambassador Robert P. Jackson, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon released this statement to the Cameroonian press as a response to the report.

We commend Cameroon for its ongoing efforts to enhance socio-economic development and modernize its economy, as outlined in the Vision 2035 strategy.  We consider these goals to be fully achievable and well within Cameroon’s reach.  Just as achieving these goals will be a national accomplishment, undertaking them must be a national effort, involving the full participation of every Cameroonian.  It follows that in order for every citizen to make a meaningful contribution, he or she should enjoy the full measure of his or her fundamental freedoms, as guaranteed in the universal Declaration of Human Rights.

As we approach the International Day Against Homophobia (“IDAHO”), we would like to underscore that human rights pertain to all persons, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, or other differences, including sexual preferences.  Under no circumstances in this day and age should hate crimes, violence, or discrimination be socially acceptable or legally permissible.  Imprisoning people on the basis of unproven accusations or text messages violates the freedoms guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  A pluralistic society can only thrive when each member acknowledges and respects the diversity within it. Incidents of torture and physical abuse, as documented by Human Rights Watch, are a sobering reminder of the work that remains to be done if we are to achieve, in practice, what we so often propose, in theory:  “On Est Ensemble.”

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

IDAHO is celebrated worldwide to commemorate the date, May 17, 1990, when homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization.

The Council for Global Equality is commemorating this day with the release of our NGO guide – Accessing U.S. Embassies: A Guide for LGBT Human Rights Defenders.

Council Releases NGO Guide to Human Rights

In Recognition of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO):

Washington, DC – May 17, 2012 – The Council released a new NGO guide, Accessing U.S. Embassies: A Guide for LGBT Human Rights Defenders, to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).

English

Français

Español

The guide highlights the various diplomatic tools that U.S. embassies use to advance a range of human rights and development objectives, from diplomatic “démarches,” to support for LGBT refugees to the drafting of the annual human rights report that is required of every U.S. embassy.  It also looks at various opportunities that exist for U.S. embassies to support, both technically and financially, LGBT advocates in host countries.

The guide recognizes that U.S. embassies around the world have traditionally reached out to civil society organizations and local human rights defenders to support a broad human rights agenda.  Until recently, however, U.S. embassies rarely included LGBT civil society organizations or defenders in their outreach.  That has now changed, and U.S. embassies are reaching out to local LGBT groups to learn more about the human rights abuses that LGBT communities experience, and to explore opportunities to partner with civil society to address those abuses.

The guide points out that U.S. embassy support for the human rights and human dignity of LGBT communities reflects, in part, America’s attempt to promote fundamental freedoms of speech, assembly and expression.  As such, the guide helps human rights defenders in other countries ground their requests in language that relates back to freedoms rooted in America’s Constitution, and that enjoy strong bipartisan support even amid other debates in Washington.

While focusing on the needs of one particularly invisible and at-risk group of human rights defenders, the Council also uses the guide to paint a broad justification for the inclusion of LGBT groups in U.S. human rights policy.   When U.S. embassies use the diplomatic, economic and political tools that are available to them to promote the rights and social inclusion of marginalized communities, including LGBT individuals, they stand firmly for human rights, but they also help foster tolerant, democratic and diverse societies that make better diplomatic allies and stronger economic partners over the longer term.


The Council marks “International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia”

IDAHO - GLOBE event, Council for Global Equality

L to R, Joel Gustave Nana, African Men for Sexual Health and Rights; Jaevion Nelson, Jamaican human rights advocate; Val Kalende, Ugandan LGBT rights advocate; Mark Bromley, Council for Global Equality; Philip W. Moeller, Lutherans Concerned/North America; and David Wilson, World Bank. photo courtesy of the World Bank

May 17, 2011, Washington, DC – The Council was pleased today to mark the “International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia,” also known as “IDAHO,” by co-sponsoring a panel discussion at the World Bank to highlight “The Effect of Homophobia on Development.” The panel was co-sponsored by the Council, UN AIDS, World Bank Globe, and the Inter-American Development Bank Globe.

IDAHO is celebrated worldwide on May 17 as the date in 1990 when the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. One of the themes this year is “As I Am,” which is a response to the daily homophobia and transphobia that seek to deny the individual worth of LGBT people. That theme has a vital development message, and the panel today highlighted the importance of recognizing the individuality of the various communities we seek to support through our development investments. It also comes at a time when leaders in the U.S. Congress are calling on the Secretary of the Treasury to oppose any financial assistance from multilateral development institutions to countries that “persecute people on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or religious beliefs.” (Read more about the Congressional effort here.)

Continue reading ‘The Council marks “International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia”’


Stay Informed

Subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 236 other followers

Follow us on Twitter

Categories