We All Deserve Justice

Contributed by Marianne Møllmann, Director of Programs, IGLHRC

You don't have to be a human rights activist to know that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or trans can get you killed pretty much anywhere.

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Groundbreaking Video series Breaks LGBTI Silence in Morocco

Contributed by Loubna Ghrib, Middle East and North Africa Program Intern, IGLHRC

The first episode of a new series that uses first-person stories to document oppression and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in Morocco—“Kaynin”—has received an amazing response, with over 269,000 views on YouTube.

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Volunteer with IGLHRC to Celebrate Human Rights Day!

Contributed by IGLHRC

Each year in celebration of Human Rights Day, IGLHRC brings human rights activists from around the world together in New York for intensive advocacy at the United Nations and strategic cross-regional discussions. This year, we're coming together Sunday, December 7th to Wednesday, December 10th.

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Transgender Day of Remembrance: Remaining hopeful as we remember

Contributed by IGLHRC

As we honor the 16th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance today, we are reminded once again of the extreme vulnerability of trans people, especially trans women, around the world—who are targeted for murder because of who they are or the way they express their gender.

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IGLHRC and Partners Expose Targeted Violence Against LGBT Iraqis in New Publications

Contributed by Hossein Alizadeh, Regional Coordinator for Middle East and North Africa, IGLHRC

Long a persecuted group, LGBT Iraqis experience high levels of violence that is based on the stigma Iraq society places on differences in sexual orientation and gender expression, and a broad intolerance of those differences. LGBT individuals, if exposed, face unspeakable violence—from within their own families, from their tribes and from the larger community.

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“&PROUD” Myanmar’s First-ever LGBT Film Festival

Contributed by Ging Cristobal, Project Coordinator for Asia and Pacific Islands, IGLHRC

November 14-16, Colors Rainbow, Abadi Art, Theik Khar Myanmar and various artists and activists will present the first "&PROUD" Yangon LGBT Film Festival, featuring 33 long and short films and documentaries from around the Asia region, including seven films produced in Myanmar. The films will showcase issues and challenges faced by LGBT people in Southeast Asia and other Asian countries

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An Unprecedented Advance for Trans Rights in Malaysia

Contributed by IGLHRC

"Today's ruling sets a critical precedent for recognizing and affirming the human rights—and lives—of trans women in Malaysia," said Grace Poore, regional program coordinator for Asia at IGLHRC. "Long the subject of state-sanctioned violence and persecution, trans Malaysians now have a ruling that recognizes the federal constitution supersedes local laws, particularly when these laws blatantly contravene the protections enshrined in the constitution."

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Listen: Hossein Alizadeh Discusses LGBT Rights in Iran on BBC Newshour

Contributed by IGLHRC

On Sunday, Hossein Alizadeh, Regional Program Coordinator for MENA was on BBC Newshour to discuss rights violations against LGBT people in Iran, particularly common social misconceptions about sexual orientation and gender identity and how some individuals report being coerced by the society—including their immediate family members—to undergo sex reassignment surgery to 'normalize' their sexuality and to avoid criminalization.

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Fostering Collaboration Globally on LGBTI Rights

Contributed by Cole Delbyck, Communications Intern, IGLHRC

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission hosted African LGBTI activists Chesterfield Samba of Zimbabwe and Dorothy Aken’ova of Nigeria on Wednesday, Oct. 29 for a conversation aimed at increasing collaboration between the continent’s activists and advocates around the world.

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Speaking Out About Violence Against Trans People

Contributed by IGLHRC

Marianne Møllmann, IGLHRC’s director of programs, Andrés Rivera Duarte, a consultant to IGLHRC on transgender rights in Latin America and to the Chilean National Observatory for Human Rights and Law, and Wilson Castañeda of the Colombian group Caribe Afirmativo spoke out against the widespread and systematic violations of human rights against the transgender population of Latin America, especially discrimination and violence, at a hearing held by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

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Exposing Iran's Record of Human Rights Abuses

Contributed by Hossein Alizadeh, Regional Coordinator for Middle East and North Africa, IGLHRC

On Friday, Oct. 31 the United Nations Human Rights Council will examine Iran’s human rights record in a process known as the Universal Periodic Review. Impact Iran, a coalition of human rights organizations, including the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), is working to expose human rights abuses by the Iranian government and hold it accountable.

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#JusticeForJennifer: Filipino Communities Organize National Day of Outrage Friday, October 24 in Response to Killing of Jennifer Laude

Contributed by Ging Cristobal, Project Coordinator for Asia and Pacific Islands, IGLHRC

In the Philippines, the killing of a transgender woman, Jennifer Laude, has ignited calls for justice. Her death became a breaking point for activists who have been pushing for government action to address gender-based violence against women and the LGBT community.

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Jamaican Activist Reflects on Second Caribbean Women and Sexual Diversity Conference

Contributed by Paige Andrew, Programme Team, J-FLAG (Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All Sexuals and Gays)

The second Caribbean Women and Sexual Diversity Conference with the theme “Inspiring Women to leadership” was convened in Suriname October 5 to 12 by United and Strong St. Lucia with support from CariFLAGS, WomenSWaySuriname and international partners. IGLHRC’s Jessica Stern and María Mercedes Gómez participated in the conference and facilitated a capacity-strengthening workshop for human rights documentation. Paige Andrew of J-FLAG shares her experience and the impact the conference will have on her advocacy in the following post.

Empowering and extremely fulfilling; those are the words that come to mind, when I think of my experience at the second Caribbean Women and Sexual Diversity Conference (CWSDC), which was held in Suriname in October this year.

As a queer person and budding activist, the conference was an incredible experience. The workshops were not only informative and engaging, but exciting. The practical aspect of the workshops, made it easy for the participants to gauge exactly how we would use the information, in our fight for LGBT equality in the Caribbean.

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There is a Voice that is Silent from Africa

Contributed by Leigh Ann van der Merwe, Director, S.H.E.

There is a voice that is silent from Africa… a voice no one hears, despite its loud scream. There is a faceless person, despite standing in a crowd of millions. That person has a name, a face, and an identity. These are the transgender women in South Africa. Strides have been made for the rights of transgender people in South Africa, yet many of the issues affecting black, impoverished transgender women go unattended. This is where the idea of a feminist collective dedicated to addressing the issues of transgender women in South Africa originated and S.H.E. (Social, Health and Empowerment feminist collective of transgender and intersex women of Africa) was established.

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Transgender Women’s Constitutional Challenge To Sharia Law Fails in Malaysia

Contributed by Grace Poore, Regional Program Coordinator, IGLHRC

Many countries in the Southeast Asian region are incrementally shifting on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people’s rights:

Vietnam’s Minster of Justice said publicly that rights of same-sex married couples should be recognized. The Philippines Supreme Court has ruled that an LGBT party had the right to participate in national elections. A Singapore Appeals Court ruled that the constitutionality of Section 377A of its Penal Code needs to be examined because it discriminates against gay men. Thailand has long been known as the place to go for gender reassignment surgery. Indonesia’ s Parliament will soon decide whether to appoint the first openly gay man as commissioner on its National Human Rights Commission.

The Malaysian government however continues to stubbornly reject the rights of LGBT people. This position reverberates throughout state institutions, encouraging hostility, discrimination, and abuse by state and religious authorities.

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