The United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights released its first global report on rights violations of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual (LGBT) individuals.
The report is entitled "Discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity". It revealed that governments in general condone incidents of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The report noted the burdens imposed to LGBT individuals by governments and drew attention to human rights violations. In addition to violence encountered in the streets, LGBT individuals are subjected to organized attacks by religious extremists, parliamentary groups, ultra-nationalists and neo-Nazis. They are also facing psychological or physical violence from their families or their environment due to social norms, the report pointed out. It was disclosed that lesbians and transsexual women were under particular risk because of gender inequality in the relations to their families and the society.
As far as Turkey is concerned, the report highlighted the violent death of university student Ahmet Yıldız who was killed in 2008 because he was homosexual. In general, LGBT individuals in Turkey become victims of murder under the pretext of "honour" killings.
Turkey is one of the countries named as examples together with Argentina, the Kyrgyz Republic and Nigeria where applications of LGBT groups for the establishment of non-governmental organizations are being dismissed. Hence, the groups lack legal records which are essential in these countries for the establishment of NGOs.
According to the report, within 18 months 31 LGBT individuals were killed in Honduras, one gay person was killed by the police in Jamaica and one lesbian woman in South Africa. Furthermore, according to the Transsexual Murders Monitoring Report, a total of 680 transsexual individuals were killed in 50 countries between 2008 and 2011.
The High Commissioner recommends that Member States:
* Investigate promptly all reported killings and other serious incidents of violence perpetrated against individuals because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity;
* Take measures to prevent torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity
* Ensure that no one fleeing persecution on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity is returned to a territory where his or her life or freedom would be threatened, and that asylum laws and policies recognize that persecution on account of one's sexual orientation or gender identity may be a valid basis for an asylum claim;
* Repeal laws used to criminalize individuals on grounds of homosexuality for engaging in consensual same-sex sexual conduct, and harmonize the age of consent for heterosexual and homosexual conduct;
* Enact comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation that includes discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity among prohibited grounds and recognizes intersecting forms of discrimination;
* Ensure that individuals can exercise their rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly in safety without discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity;
* Implement appropriate sensitization and training programmes for police, prison officers, border guards, immigration officers and other law enforcement personnel,
* Facilitate legal recognition of the preferred gender of transgender persons and establish arrangements to permit relevant identity documents to be reissued reflecting preferred gender and name, without infringements of other human rights. (ÇT/VK)
Source: United Nations Human Rights Council.
You can read the full report here.
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