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Statement by the Canadian HIV/AIDS legal network at the 19th Human Rights Council

in WORLD, 14/03/2012

Statement delivered by Moses Mulindwa, Spectrum Uganda, on behalf of the Canadian HIV/AIDS legal network at the General Debate on Tuesday 13 March 2012 at the 19th session of the Human Rights Council.

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STATEMENT BY THE CANADIAN HIV/AIDS LEGAL NETWORK

General Debate Tuesday 13 March 2012
Delivered by Moses Mulindwa.

Thank you Madame President.

This session at the Human Rights Council has seen a significant number of states articulating their commitment to ending violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people across the world. The Report of the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights that arose out of the UN Human Rights Council resolution 17/19 (June 2011) highlighted the daily lived realities of LGBTI people, including violence by state and non state actors.

Even as states articulate their commitment to ending violence against LGBTI people, these same states criminalise us by introducing new and enforcing existing legislation. It is this public act by our states that formalizes and finalises the legitimization of the violence.

We continue to see this happening in Uganda, Malawi, Nigeria, Liberia, Russia, Senegal, Kenya and Cameroon amongst others. So, Madam President how then do we take seriously these states who are claiming to end violence when they are at the same time retaining and introducing discriminatory laws.

These states who claim to oppose violence against LGBTI people MUST

  1. Recognize the structural violence against LGBTI people
  2. Recognize the links between the escalating violence against LGBTI people and state legitimization of homophobia
  3. Suspend all moves to introduce legislation that criminalises our sexuality and gender identity
  4. Establish and sustain dialogue with the LGBTI community in country and in multi lateral spaces
  5. Commit to deepen and stay in dialogue here at the human rights council for purposes of addressing LGBTI violations at national level

It is these measures that will contribute in meaningful ways to ending the violence, a commitment that all of you have made as rights bearers and those who carry the responsibility to protect.

Thank you.

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