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Putting the spotlight on sexual orientation and gender identity

in WORLD, 30/04/2013

n much of Asia, stigma and discrimination on the basis of diverse sexual orientation and/or gender identity (SOGI) strips people of their rights and excludes them from mainstream health programs, public and private services, and economic opportunity.

Driven underground, people of diverse SOGI are denied productive lives as contributing members of society. Socio-cultural disadvantage is exacerbated by punitive and discriminatory legal frameworks, criminalization of same-sex sexual relations in a number of jurisdictions, and law enforcement practices.

Over the year to March 2013, the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), SAARCLAW (the legal apex body of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) and the Asia Pacific Forum worked with national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Timor Leste to document their capacity to promote SOGI rights and respond to violations.

The project also engaged community based organizations to gather perspectives from the community of people of diverse SOGI, and participate in dialogue with the NHRIs.

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