Making LGBTI rights an everyday priority
Graphic: NHRI and NGO participants from Malaysia at an APF workshop on LGBTI rights; Manila, 2017
A new APF resource provides NHRIs with practical steps to ensure there is a consistent focus on the rights of LGBTI people in their everyday work.
Across the Asia Pacific, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people can experience shocking levels of violence, harassment and discrimination because of who they love, how the express themselves or the sex characteristics with which they are born.
In recent years, the APF and UNDP have worked together to build the capacity of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in the region to better promote and protect the rights of LGBTI people, including through a world-first training program.
A new resource prepared by the APF aims to build on these efforts by providing NHRIs with practical steps they can take to ensure there is a consistent focus on the rights of LGBTI people in their everyday work.
NHRIs have strong powers to promote and protect the rights of those who are most vulnerable to human rights violations, including LGBTI people. They can also help start conversations between different groups in their communities in order to address misconceptions and tackle the prejudice that can lead to violence and discrimination.
The Guidelines for Mainstreaming Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Sex Characteristics Work:
- Introduce and define the terms "sexual orientation", "gender identity" and "sex characteristics"
- Provide an overview of the pressing human rights issues facing LGBTI people in the countries across the Asia Pacific, and how NHRIs in the region have responded
- Identify strategies to bolster the internal work of NHRIs, including through sensitisation training, strategic planning and employment and human resource practices
- Describe how NHRIs use their powers and functions to address the challenges that LGBTI communities face, including through education and awareness programs, monitoring, complaint handling, national inquiries, court interventions, advice to government and advocacy.
Case studies from APF members are included throughout, along with links to further information in Promoting and Protecting Human Rights in relation to Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Sex Characteristics: A Manual for National Human Rights Institutions.
"Mainstreaming simply means considering how an NHRI's work impacts on LGBTI people and how things could be done differently," said Pip Dargan, Deputy Director of the APF secretariat.
"It also ensures that the experiences of LGBTI people are visible and incorporated into the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of an NHRI's work. The ultimate goal of all forms of mainstreaming is to achieve equality," she said.
The APF consulted widely with its member institutions, and with the 60 NGO and NHRI representatives who took part in the APF-UNDP training courses, to develop these guidelines.
Date: 14 August 2017
- NHRI and NGO participants from Malaysia at an APF workshop on LGBTI rights; Manila, 2017 - APF