Monday , 10 December 2018

UN Report: LGBTI people subjected to brutal violence worldwide

UN Report: Born Equal and Free
UN Report: “Born Equal and Free”

Brutal, violence, abuse, harassment and discrimination against LGBTI people is widespread and goes unpunished worldwide, a UN report says.

Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands suffered injuries in recent years, were documented in a report, entitled “Born Equal and Free” submitted to the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The “brutal” and “grotesque” violence include stoning, dismemberment, knifing, rape and genital mutilation said U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in the report.

“Violence motivated by homophobia and transphobia is often particularly brutal, and in some instances characterized by levels of cruelty exceeding that of other hate crimes,” said Hussein.

Victims of hate violence
Victims of hate violence

“Grotesque homicides (are) perpetrated with broad impunity, allegedly at times with the complicity of investigative authorities,” said the report, issued on Monday.

Well over 1,600 transgender people were murdered in 62 countries between 2008 and 2014, equivalent to a death every second day.

Examples included in the latest findings include the murder of a transsexual woman in Uruguay and of black lesbian women in South Africa.

In an assault in Chile, a gay man was beaten and killed by neo-Nazis, who burned him with cigarettes and carved swastikas into his body, the report said.

Several men, accused of same-sex acts, were pushed to their deaths off a building in Syria by members of the Islamic State extremist group in February.

“Terrorist groups may target LGBT persons for punishment, including killings,” the UN says.

Brazil reported 310 documented murders in 2012 “in which homophobia or transphobia was a motive”.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights recorded 594 hate-related killings of LGBT people in the 25 countries of the Organization of American States.

On top of murder, many LGBTI people are subjected to violence, ill-treatment from authorities and other abuses.

Mistreatment of people in custody has been reported in countries including Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Egypt.

Protest for LGBTI rights in Russia
Protest for LGBTI rights in Russia

The violence is likely to be underreported as there is a lack of recording and reporting of hate crimes against LGBTI people.

78 countries still have laws in place that are actively used to harass LGBTI people, while in Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen and parts of Nigeria and Somalia, a consensual same-sex acts may be punished by death.

This is “a grave violation of human rights”, according to the report.

The report outlined over 20 recommendations, including legislation and implementation of anti-LGBT hate crimes laws, decriminalisation of consensual same-sex activity, legal protection for same-sex couples and their children, a ban on forced sterilisation and forced genital examinations and to entitle people to legal documents which reflect their self-identified gender.

The UN also wants to ban “conversion therapies” which are meant to “cure” homosexuality.

This second report of its kind since 2011 concluded that despite “some progress” during the past four years,” LGBTI people across the world as subjected to pervasive, violent abuse, harassment and discrimination.

About Dan Littauer

Dan Littauer is a journalist who specializes in LGBTI current affairs, travel writing, feature writing and investigative journalism. He is a correspondent for LGBTQ Nation, ManAboutWorld, and previously worked for Gay Star News, PinkNews, San Diego Gay and Lesbian News, Gay Middle East, Lonely Planet as well as contributing occasionally to the BBC, Al-Jazeera, CNN and The Guardian. He also had an extensive career outside journalism, which included teaching psychoanalysis and social science, and consultancy work for the travel market. When he is not busy writing, he can be spotted rambling around the stunning Scottish landscape, where he lives, spending time at home with his cat.

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