LGBTI community lauds UN decision to appoint independent monitor

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 4, 2016-

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersexual (LGBTI) community in Nepal has welcomed the United Nations decision to appoint an independent expert to look into cases of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The UN Human Rights Council on Thursday had voted to appoint an independent monitor to help protect gay and transgender people around the world from violence and discrimination. 

“This is a milestone for the LGBTI community. The move will go a long way in ensuring the right of the LGBTI people which often times is neglected, is protected,” said Manisha Dhakal, executive director of the Blue Diamond Society.   

Dhakal added the report prepared by the independent monitor will be crucial as it will show the status of LGBTI rights in the countries across the world. 

The decision of the UN apex human rights body now will create an “independent expert” charged with identifying the root causes of violence and discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, and then talking with governments about ways to protect them, a process the UN has been assessing the rights situation all across the globe. 

The resolution was narrowly passed, primarily from European and Latin American countries. Out of the 47 members, only 23 were in favour and six countries--India, South Africa and the Philippines abstained during the voting. The 18 votes against it came from Russia, Africa and most of the Muslim countries on the panel.

The decision to create the post comes weeks after Afghan-origin Omar Mateen massacred 49 people at a gay bar in Orlando, Florida.

Non-government organisations from around the world had carried out a campaign to have a special rapporteur. The Blue Diamond Society and the Sudurpachhim Samaj from Dhangadi had sent their requests. The expert’s duties will include assessing international human rights laws, raising awareness of violence based on sexual orientation and engaging in dialogue with member states and other stakeholders.

Published: 04-07-2016 13:11

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