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UN - Brazilian resolution

in BRAZIL, 01/02/2004

Gender equity

'Full article of Emir Sader as published in 'Jornal do Brasil' on feb 1, 2004' - a free translation by Anibal Guimarães


Two different news, bad and good, on the same topic to those who struggle for the equity of human rights. First, the bad one: Brazil ranks number 1 in homophobic crimes. This remains unchanged - due to the impunity that makes it seem somewhat natural - in a country that insists on affirming that it is tolerant, liberal, complacent with different ways of living. In this very case, violence occurs in a particular and cruel way because it discriminates and stresses how impossible it is to live according to each one's sexual orientation.

The good one: Brazil leads a world campaign, in the UNCHR, to characterize any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation as a violence against human rights. In april 2003, at the 59th Session of its Commission, a proposal of a Resolution was presented, gathering the support of different countries.

The proposal recalls on the recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world; that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms the fundamental principle of the inadmissibility of discrimination and proclaims that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that everyone is entitled to the enjoyment of all rights and freedoms set forth therein without distinction of any kind.

The proposal also recalls that human rights education is a key to changing attitudes and behavior and to promoting respect for diversity in society, expresses deep concern at the occurrence of violations of human rights all over the world against persons on the grounds of their sexual orientation; stresses that human rights and fundamental freedoms are the birthright of all human beings, that the universal nature of these rights and freedoms is beyond question and that the enjoyment of such rights and freedoms should not be hindered in any way on the grounds of sexual orientation;

The proposal calls upon all States to promote and protect the human right of all persons regardless of their sexual orientation; and notes the attention given to human rights violations on grounds of sexual orientation by the special procedures in their reports to the CHR, as well as the treaty monitoring bodies, and encourages all special procedures of the CHR, within their mandates, to give due attention to the subject;

Though an expressive support from EU among other nations, the brazilian resolution - reaffirming the leadership of our nation in the struggle for human rights in all its different 'conceptions' ('acceptions', en Français, pour les francóphones. Excusez-moi!) and the efforts to get rid of this shameful position in the rank of hate crimes - runs great risk. Last april, in Geneva, a neverseen before alliance between the Vatican and the OIC aimed to obstruct it.

From 15 march on, the Commission will sit again in Geneva and all its 53 member-States shall analyse it again, voting for its approval. Besides the fundamentalist and religious coalition that insists on obstructing it, a large number of other member-States also do not voice publicly its opinion, thus contributing to confirm that discrimination based on sexual orientation is fair. Indeed, LGBT activists all over the wold insist on the inclusion of the expression 'gender identity', which meets great disagreement in that Commission from several members.

In Brazil, in a seemingly mix of prejudice, discrimination and lack of knowledge, mass-media gave no attention to this issue.

The approval of the brazilian resolution will probably not mean the end of the violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation, nor will make that gender equity be respected but, undoubtedly, will express that the whole international community comndens any kind of discrimination based on that ground, therefore contributing to stimulate all the peoples to struggle for "another possible world" with full equity of genders as a right to all.

Emir Sader


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