BORN FREE AND EQUAL – UN REPORT – 2012

This report was published by the UN in 2012. It aims to list the legal obligations of all member states towards Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons.

The objective of the report is to not only assess the needs of the LGBT community internationally but also at a state-specific level, to ensure effective implementation. The report also intends to provide human rights defenders with a tool to hold state’s accountable for violations of international human rights law.

The report documents violations of LGBT rights from a human rights perspective. It analyses each State’s compliance with international human rights law. It observes that people across the world face discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.

ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The report notes each state’s core obligations and identifies five major issues that need to be addressed:

  1. Protect individuals from homophobia and transphobia
    States are recommended to enact hate crime laws to protect individuals from violence on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
  2. Prevent torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of LGBT persons
    States are recommended to define torture and ill-treatment as offences under domestic criminal law and ensure state agents who have committed these offences to be brought to justice. States must also provide remedies to victims in such cases, including compensation. Finally, states must also take preventive measures (eg. training law enforcement officers, monitoring detention centres)
  3. Decriminalise homosexuality
    States are recommended to repeal all laws criminalizing private, adult, consensual same-sex relations and sexual acts.
  4. Prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender expression
    States are recommended to enact legislation that prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in both the public and private sphere. States must also spread awareness and conduct programmes to tackle discriminatory social attitudes.
  5. Respect freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly
    States are recommended to effectively investigate and punish any acts of violence and intimidation by private parties against LGBT persons.

The report concludes by arguing that the protection of LGBT persons from violence and discrimination doesn’t require new legislation or new international human rights standards. In fact, States must follow their human rights obligations to protect the LGBT population.

READ FULL REPORT HERE