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SAHRC welcomes the proactive involvement of the SA government in the decision of the UNHRC to pass a resolution to protect LGTBI people
Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The SA Human Rights Commission welcomes the proactive role played by the South African government in the passing of a resolution by the UN Human Rights Council to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and inter-sexed (LGBTI) people.

This historic resolution affirms the universality of human rights, and notes concern about acts of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a study on violence and discrimination on these grounds, and calls for a panel discussion to be held at the Human Rights Council to discuss the findings of the study in a constructive and transparent manner, and to consider appropriate follow-up.

The government’s stance follows the intervention of the Commission in conjunction with civil society organisations and the Department of International Relations. The Commission recently hosted a civil society consultative meeting to discuss this matter which was scheduled to be tabled at last week’s session.

The Commission remains concerned about the recent reports of escalation of violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and inter-sexed people in South Africa and on the continent and hopes that the resolution will provide an international foundation for the protection of LGBTI persons.

Many LGBTI people live in continual fear of violent attacks and experience discrimination. The resolution gives an international foundation for protection to one of the world’s most vulnerable minorities.

At a local legislative level the Commission has been lobbying government to look into the possibility of enacting Hate Crimes legislation and is pleased that government has set up a task team to deliberate on this matter.

The Commission is pleased that the UN has firmly placed on its agenda issues relating to the rights of LGBTI.

ENDS
For further enquiries: Vincent Moaga on 073 562 9866

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