Posts Tagged ‘LGBT rights’

Thilaga Sulathireh, Malaysian LGBTI human rights defender, in the limelight

April 27, 2014

The ISHR Newsletter of 24 April carries an interesting portrait of Malaysian human rights defender Thilaga Sulathireh. She states that she initially joined the struggle for LGBTI rights in Malaysia in response to her own experience of discrimination and harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. She now devotes herself to promoting and protecting the rights of others. The violence and discrimination inflicted on the LGBTI community in Malaysia, particularly on trans people, strengthened Thilaga’s determination to promote transgender rights, and challenge patriarchal norms and oppressive religious traditions and values.

Read the rest of this entry »

20 years ago: the Toonen watershed case from Tasmania

April 13, 2014

On 12 April Dan Harrison, in the Australian newspaper ‘Daily Life”, recalls how the famous Toonen case – decided 20 years ago – had a tremendous impact: “The fax arrived from Geneva on a Saturday almost exactly 20 years ago. The message on United Nations letterhead that landed on the fax machine at the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Groups office in Hobart’s Battery Point would change the lives of millions. It carried the UN Human Rights Committees finding that Tasmanian laws, which made consenting sex between adult men in private a criminal offence punishable by up to 21 years jail, were in violation of Australia’s international obligations.” Read the rest of this entry »

“Voices of LGBTI Human Rights Defenders” Side event on 19 March

March 15, 2014

Voices of LGBTI Human Rights Defenders” on 19 March, from 10h00 – 12h00 in Room XXIV of the Palais des Nations in Geneva. Human Rights Defenders from Nigeria and Malaysia will be among those presenting.

Contact: adam.hennings[at]graduateinstitute.ch

Honoring some of the many women human rights defenders on International Women’s Day

March 9, 2014

Yesterday, 7 March 2014, saw many expressions of solidarity with women human rights defenders at the occasion of International Women’s Day.

The ISHR picked the following cases as examples that stand out:

You can find many more cases via the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition [http://www.defendingwomen-defendingrights.org/] which brings together women activists and those committed to the advancement of women human rights and those working on gender issues, to advocate for better protection of women human rights defenders.

via Honouring women human rights defenders on International Women’s Day! | ISHR.

Gay rights in Africa: Judge in Zimbabwe gives bit of hope with ruling for human rights defender Martha Tholanah

March 4, 2014

With the Ugandan anti-gay law signed by President Museveni last week (in spite of the fascinating news that broke only afterwards that his own daughter came out publicly as lesbian opposing the law), attention on LGBTI rights in Africa has been mostly negative. The more reason to point to a small ‘victory’ in neighbouring Zimbabwe where a mostly independent judiciary had the courage to squash the charges against human rights defender Martha Tholanah of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ). Read the rest of this entry »

And the Nominees Are……Oscars for Human-Rights !!

February 28, 2014

Regular readers of this blog know that I like the idea of holding  celebrities accountable (most recently: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/star-power-and-human-rights-a-difficult-but-doable-mix/).   The reason is that there is a mutually reinforcing (and for many profitable) interaction between the stars and the media (which in turn feed on the interest of the public). Celebrities’ views on all kind of issues – including human rights –  can hardly be called private. Their social media are virtual industries and influence millions globally. So it seems a good idea to have an annual look at which celebrities have advanced and which have harmed the cause of human rights around the world. Halvorssen and Leigh Hancock ( of the Human Rights Foundation) have done exactly that in the Atlantic on 27 February 2004 and linked it to the upcoming Oscars night on Sunday. 

(Gary Hershorn/Reuters)

The list of celebrities deserving recognition for their accomplishments in the field of human rights or those who should be ashamed for supporting human-rights violators, is long and contains many video links. Like the real Oscars, the list is slanted in terms of geopolitical interest and I think that if all major international human rights organisations would get together to agree on a list if would be more balanced, but that is probably wishful thinking. Still, the Human Rights Foundation deserves credit for this creative initiative. and here is the summary:

The Nominees for Outstanding Work in the Field of Human Rights Read the rest of this entry »

Vacancy at ISHR for Advocacy Manager (women, LGBTI rights)

February 4, 2014

The International Service for Human Rights [ISHR] is seeking an Advocate and Program Manager to join their team of six managers. THIS position will lead the work with women defenders and LGBT rights defenders and coordinate ISHR’s engagement with one or more international mechanisms. Applications close 7 March 2014.ISHR-logo-colour-high

  • Among qualifications and experience requested figure:
  • A degree in law, international relations, journalism, politics or social science.
  • At least 5 years’ professional experience working to influence human rights laws, policies and institutions, preferably with NGOs, intergovernmental organisations or governments.
  • Experience in designing and implementing successful human rights programs, campaigns and initiatives.
  • Excellent oral and written communication in English with proficiency in a second UN language, particularly Arabic, French or Spanish, being an advantage.
  • Capacity to travel overseas, sometimes at short notice.

The successful applicant will be employed on an initial one-year contract with the possibility of ongoing employment.

 

via Vacancies | ISHR.

Malaysia should reverse ban against leading human rights coalition COMANGO

January 13, 2014

Several NGOs, including the International Service for Human Rights from which I the took the statement of 12 January, 2014, have asked the Malaysian authorities to immediately reverse a ban issued against a leading coalition of human rights organisations. On 8 January 2014 the Malaysian Home Ministry issued a statement that it had declared the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs [COMANGO] to be illegal on the basis that it deviates from the Islamic faith through its support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. The Ministry further justified the ban on the basis that members of the coalition are not registered under he Malaysian Societies Act 1966.The move to ban COMANGO is a clear violation of the rights to freedom of association and assembly, said ISHR Director Phil Lynch, adding the suspicious circumstance that the ban was issued in response to COMANGO submitting a report to the UN Human Rights Council on Malaysia’s human rights record in March 2013, which makes it look like a case of reprisals against human rights defenders. For more info contact: Phil Lynch, Director, on p.lynch[at]ishr.ch.

via Malaysia must reverse ban against leading human rights coalition | ISHR.

Kasha about the Ugandan law against homosexuality

December 23, 2013

The Ugandan parliament has now passed the bill that many feared would come one day. Although it does not foresee the death penalty anymore it still puts life jail terms on ‘aggravated homosexuality’. Back on 3 February 2013, Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, a Ugandan LGBT activist, who was the 2011 Laureate of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights, spoke with the Martin Ennals award about the risks and problems.

Situation of human rights defenders in Africa – overview by Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

November 6, 2013

The OMCT and the FIDH, in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, made an intervention under agenda item 9: “Situation of human rights defenders” at the at the 54th session of African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights [ACHPR] on 5 November.logo FIDH_seulOMCT-LOGO

Human rights defenders were attacked, received threats or were slandered in the DRCSenegal and Tunisia. In some cases they were even killed, as in the DRC and in Cameroonin a climate of impunity. Defenders, and in particular defenders of economic, social and cultural rights, also continued to be subjected to arbitrary arrests and judicial harassment in AngolaCameroon, the DRCEgyptMauritania and Tunisia. Obstacles to freedom of association were also recorded, as for instance in AngolaEgypt and Rwanda. A summary is as follows: Read the rest of this entry »